Insurance Platform Integrity Expands Advisory Business With Gladstone Acquisition

Integrity Marketing Group, a major insurance platform, is making a big push into the wealth management arena by purchasing Gladstone Wealth Partners, a registered investment advisor that manages $13 billion of client assets.

Bryan Adams, CEO of Integrity Marketing

Courtesy of Integrity Marketing Group

Gladstone, and

Opinions of the company LPL Financial

The partner who holds assets as an independent RIA and through LPL corporate RIA, has a long history of building its business by recruiting exit teams from large national companies.

The Gladstone Group has built “a proven platform that can continue to grow at a very impressive rate by being able to provide new opportunities for advisors coming out of the wirehouses,” Integrity CEO Bryan Adams said in an interview. “They can do it … for very little money.”

Lack of money should not be a problem. By selling to Integrity, Gladstone joins a heavyweight in the insurance industry with thousands of employees and relationships with hundreds of thousands of insurance agents.

The Integrity model begins by working with providers to develop strategies to work with clients to help them find the best insurance, which Adams describes as “everything from A to Z.”

“We’re trying to eliminate everything in between to connect insurance carriers to customers and customers to insurance carriers,” he said.

The move to wealth management may seem like a big departure for an insurance company, but Adams sees a big connection.

“One of the things we have found is that as people get older, there are several things that worry them the most: It’s their health and their finances,” he said.

To be sure, Loyalty is not a newcomer to the financial management world. Some of the insurance companies a few years ago also had RIAs or broker-dealers, Adams said, but those were parts of the larger business.

With Gladstone, financial management is the business, and Integrity shows it wants to prioritize its advisory role.

“Partnering with Gladstone allows us to have a platform that is truly committed and leading the way in building a sustainable financial system,” said Adams. “So this is a very important thing to be able to bring all of this together and better serve people in the financial sector.”

Gladstone will remain affiliated with LPL, but all of its independent RIA staff will join Integrity, according to Richard Frick, Gladstone’s CEO and managing director. At Integrity, an employee-owned company, all employees — regardless of tenure — will receive shares, Adams said.

Both Adams and Frick indicated that the confiscation of advisors is possible.

As Gladstone also recruited refugee groups, he often allowed them to fend for themselves and create themselves. That way can work, but it’s a twist. Frick said Gladstone wants to start acquiring RIAs directly, which means they will be 100% owned — unlike runoff groups — but will be able to keep their name.

“If we find another RIA going forward, we will be combining RIAs,” he said.

“We will be out there trying to build a financial business by writing more on the wire, as we have done in the past, and we will continue to do M&A now with Integrity as our partner and acquisition. RIAs,” said Frick. “As we acquire RIAs, we will have fewer RIAs; we will not have a hundred. So we will integrate their RIAs into ours when we buy products. “

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