Stratos Wealth Management Merges Two San Diego Firms

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Truuwater Financial, a San Diego-based RIA and subsidiary of Stratos Wealth Management, will be absorbed into another Stratos firm, Brown Wealth Management, according to a Wednesday announcement.

BWM managed $825 million in client assets on its own, but Truuwater’s $300 million brings BWM’s AUM to $1.2 billion. 

“There’s additional synergies to be had by two of our affiliated advisors joining forces and creating a larger and more enduring firm,” said Lou Camacho, president of Stratos Wealth Enterprises. 

Robert Meyer, the founder and CEO of Truuwater, sold his firm to scale the firm’s services and abilities for clients. In a statement, Meyer said his business has increased its asset management resources and enhanced its relationship management and business development.

“Joining forces with BWM fulfills our vision of creating an enduring firm that can offer greater breadth and depth of services to our clients, in a multigenerational capacity,” said Meyer, also Truuwater’s chief investment officer. Meyer will continue to serve as a member of the firm’s investment committee and a senior advisor with BWM. 

Under BWM, Truuwater’s clients will continue to be advised by Meyer, his partner Hannah Depew and the three support staff members. However, Meyers and Depew’s books of business belong to BWM where they will be serviced by other BWM advisors if Meyers or Depew are unavailable.

Jeff Brown, CEO and founder of BWM, said in an interview that Truuwater adds capacity to his fast-growing firm that focuses on engineers, scientists and corporate executives. His nine-person firm managing $800 million now has two additional advisors with room for more clients.

“We have been growing exponentially through social media, referrals, centers of influence so we need more advisors to be able to service that,” he said. 

BWM was acquired by Stratos for undisclosed amount on Dec. 31, 2020. Earlier that year, Stratos, which oversees $14.5 billion, sold a minority stake to private equity firm Emigrant Partners.

“Executing their own acquisition is an example of sub-acquisitions gaining momentum,” said David DeVoe of consulting firm DeVoe & Company. “Sub-acquisitions—acquisitions made by firms that have themselves been acquired—started to accelerate in the second half of 2020 [and] experienced an all-time quarterly high in the fourth quarter.”

Truuwater is BWM’s first acquisition and the firm hopes to acquire more firms. Brown wants BWM to be the go-to firm for other Stratos firms looking for a succession plan or prospects that aren’t a good partner fit for parent firm Stratos. 

“We rolled out of 2020 with really good momentum and we hope to continue doing that in partnership with folks like BWM,” Camacho said. 

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