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Rating:Fido and Vanguard Watchers Swallow an RIA Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fido and Vanguard Watchers Swallow an RIA

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The editors of independent newsletters about Fidelity and Vanguard just did a deal of their own. This week Newton, Massachusetts-based Adviser Investments revealed that it has acquired a nearby fellow RIA, Waltham-based Kobren Insight Management. Adviser Investments chairman Dan Wiener leads the Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors newsletter and Adviser Investments chief investment officer Jim Lowell leads the Fidelity Investor newsletter.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The combined firm will utilize Adviser Investments' brand and boasts more than 45 staff working with more than 2,000 clients and more than $2 billion in assets, now all based in Newton. Kobren CIO Rusy Vanneman and fixed-income strategist Chris Keith will both join Adviser Investments as part of the deal.

Dan Silver, president of Adviser Investments, explained the deal.

"There were so many synergies," Silver told The MFWire, praising Kobren's expertise and personnel. "It's a very similar client base."

This is only Adviser Investments' second acquisition. (The first was back in 1999.) Will the RIA acquire again?

"We'll keep our eyes open," Silver said. "Really opportunities are few and far between."

Company Press Release

NEWTON, Mass., March 21, 2011 -- Adviser Investments (Newton, MA) and Kobren Insight Management (Wellesley, MA) today announced they have joined forces to create one of the nation's largest independent wealth management firms. Together, these two Boston-area independent advisory firms manage more than $2 billion in assets on behalf of over 2,000 clients.

In today's highly sensitized market environment, investors are increasingly demanding that their portfolio managers adhere to a "fiduciary standard," rather than the suitability standard followed by most brokers and brokerage house "advisors." Adviser Investments and its new affiliate manage client portfolios strictly to the higher standard.

The combined firm will retain the Adviser Investments name and will continue to manage customized portfolios of mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), bonds, and variable annuities for individual investors, trusts, institutions, and foundations. "This merger enables us to leverage each firm's talents and resources to better meet the needs of existing and future clients," said Dan Silver, President of Adviser Investments. "Both firms share a similar investment philosophy that focuses on identifying successful managers, investing for the long term, and tailoring portfolios to individual objectives and risk tolerances. We also believe it's important to invest our own money alongside our clients. We eat our own cooking."

Adviser Investments, founded in 1994, and Kobren Insight Management, founded in 1987, will have over 45 professionals dedicated to serving their clients' needs.

Kobren chief investment officer, Rusty Vanneman, and fixed-income strategist Chris Keith will join forces with Dan Wiener, founder and chairman of Adviser Investments, and Jim Lowell, the company's chief investment officer. Wiener and Lowell are well known for their award-winning newsletters tracking the Vanguard and Fidelity fund families.

"I am excited about the opportunity to work side-by-side with Vanneman, Keith and their research team," said Lowell. "Together, I believe the combined experience and knowledge of our research analysts and investment managers will enhance our ability to help clients navigate market volatility and achieve their long-term investment goals."

Clients of the newly combined firm should expect to receive the same superior level of customer service and will experience no interruptions in the ongoing management of their portfolios.

"This combination allows us to increase the scale of our operations while adding more depth to our team of researchers and portfolio managers," said Silver. "It's a great opportunity for all involved, but most importantly for our clients." 

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