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Diversified LLC acquires Alabama investment firm

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Diversified LLC, headquartered in the Wells Fargo Tower, is growing beyond the region by acquiring an Alabama firm. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – Diversified LLC, a full-service investment advisory firm, recently acquired an Alabama investment firm in its first expansion out of the greater Philadelphia area.

Headquartered at Wells Fargo Tower off U.S. Route 202 in the northern Wilmington suburbs, Diversified was ranked as the ninth fastest growing registered investment advisor firm in the country last year by Financial Advisor Magazine.

With only a second office in Wayne, Pa., Diversified has increasingly begun looking to expand its geographic footprint and worked with an investment brokerage to find potential acquisition targets. They identified Marca Life Planning, a 30-year-old investment firm based in Birmingham, Ala., with about $67 million in assets under management, according to U.S. Securities Exchange Commission records.

“We got wind that there was a firm that had some good assets, good processes and good employees down in Alabama. And now that the world has become a Zoom world, we’re less concerned over the location, more concerned about the fit, the quality of the people and the intellectual capital,” Andrew Rosen, firm president and partner, told Delaware Business Times. “Lo and behold it was a match made in heaven.”

Diversified acquired Marca for an undisclosed sum, announcing the deal on March 31. The combined firm will have about $1.4 billion in assets under management and 30 employees across the three offices. Diversified’s average client is nearing retirement with about $1 million in assets, Rosen said.

“At Marca, we’ve spent 40 years empowering our clients to live their best lives while planning and saving for the future responsibly,” Jeanne Smith, lead planner of Marca, said in a statement. “This affiliation helps us to strengthen what we’ve built with additional resources, staff and cutting-edge technology.”

Diversified was founded in the late 1970s by Frank Levy, the father of firm partner David Levy. The second-generation leaders acquired the firm around 2013 and have grown it substantially, acquiring tax planning and property casualty insurance businesses to provide a suite of services to clients as a one-stop shop. Marca is likely just the first deal on the horizon for Diversified.

“We are in talks with others as we speak; we’re always looking to expand not just organically but through mergers and acquisitions,” Rosen said, noting they are hiring for a handful of positions locally as well to serve a growing number of clients. “We believe that the larger we get, the more the end client benefits.”

“We’re looking to be a regional powerhouse with sights on a national presence,” he added.

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