Numerous prominent players in the financial landscape have emerged as potential suitors for Goldman Sachs’ mass affluent wealth division, Personal Financial Management (PFM), as per sources well-acquainted with the situation. The list of potential bidders encompasses a substantial registered investment advisory firm, a collection of independent broker-dealers, and the regional brokerage firm, Stifel Financial.
Goldman Sachs officially disclosed on Monday its contemplation of alternate options for the PFM unit, a strategic move given the unit’s acquisition by the firm in 2019. While a Goldman spokesperson acknowledged this evaluation process through an emailed statement, no confirmation was provided regarding any specific interested parties.
Among those expressing interest, independent broker-dealers LPL Financial and Osaic, formerly recognized as Advisor Group, stand out as possible contenders. Alongside them, the registered investment advisory firm Creative Planning has also shown interest. Nevertheless, an early proposal from Osaic reportedly failed to materialize into a deal, sources suggest.
The current stage of the process and the wide array of interested parties make it improbable for any imminent announcements this week, insiders reveal. Adding to the intrigue, David DeVoe, a prominent figure in wealth management investment banking, alluded to the likelihood of additional contenders, potentially including private equity buyers. While DeVoe refrained from specifying his role in representing any specific bidders, he highlighted the attractiveness of the wealth management sector in general.
In an email communication, DeVoe articulated, “Potential buyers include other large national and international wealth management companies as well as private-equity firms. The wealth management business in general is attractive because of the steady revenues it generates.”
In summary, the landscape of potential bidders for Goldman Sachs’ PFM unit is teeming with significant players from diverse corners of the financial industry. The deliberation over potential paths for PFM underscores Goldman’s strategic recalibration following its acquisition of the unit. While the process is in its early phases, the underlying interest signals the allure of wealth management as a steady revenue generator, attracting both established wealth management entities and private equity entities keen to seize such an opportunity.
It’s no surprise that Stifel is in the mix here. They have a long history of striking while assets are hot and have built out there advisor ranks, bank, and other divisions principally via acquisition. Ron Kruszewski is known as a calculated (and successful) risk taker – keep an eye on Stifel here.