Irving, Texas (June 29, 2011) – Parthenon Capital Partners and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) have entered into a definitive agreement for Parthenon Capital Partners to acquire Wells Fargo’s H.D. Vest Financial Services business. Following the transaction, H.D. Vest’s existing management team, led by Roger Ochs, will continue to operate the business. Founded in 1983 and based in Irving, TX, H.D. Vest provides independent financial solutions to over 1.8 million retail investors through an advisor base of over 4,800 securities-licensed tax professionals.
H.D. Vest’s Chief Executive Officer, Roger Ochs, stated: “We are excited to partner with Parthenon Capital Partners to complete the purchase of H.D. Vest from Wells Fargo. As a standalone entity under this new ownership structure, H.D. Vest will benefit from Parthenon’s expertise within the financial services industry as well as Parthenon’s significant financial and strategic resources. Both the management team and Parthenon are committed to investing in the future growth of H.D. Vest and have high expectations for the company’s potential. The executive leadership team of H.D. Vest, Wells Fargo, and Parthenon are each committed to ensuring a smooth and seamless transition for our advisors and our clients. There will be no changes to the H.D. Vest leadership team or home office staffing levels as a result of this transaction. Additionally, our advisors will continue to have access to the same products, services, and tools to offer clients as they do today. Wells Fargo’s clearing business, First Clearing Correspondent Services, will continue to provide brokerage clearing services for H.D. Vest. We are excited to have Parthenon as our strategic partner and look forward to working together to achieve our goals.”
Andrew Dodson, a Partner at Parthenon Capital Partners who is involved in the firm’s financial services investments, commented, “We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Roger Ochs and the executive team at H.D. Vest to execute the company’s growth strategy. H.D. Vest is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for independent financial advice, particularly as the country’s large Baby Boomer population begins to reach retirement age. After years of thorough industry benchmarking, we concluded that H.D. Vest has a uniquely attractive operating model serving a large, but specialized market.”
Wells Fargo’s decision to sell H.D. Vest followed a strategic assessment that determined that the firm’s business does not align precisely with the business model of Wells Fargo Advisors, Wells Fargo’s retail brokerage unit, which is centered on supporting full time financial advisors who are focused primarily on serving and advising affluent and wealthy clients. Danny Ludeman, president and CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors noted that the agreement to sell H.D. Vest does not reflect a change in the brokerage firm’s approach to serving independent advisors through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (FiNet). “Wells Fargo Advisors remains firmly committed to serving financial advisors though multiple channels, including FiNet, which is an integral part of our business model,” Ludeman said.
Wells Fargo Securities served as exclusive financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel to Wells Fargo & Co. in conjunction with this transaction.
About H.D. Vest
Based in Irving, Texas, H.D. Vest is a leading independent broker/dealer providing investment and financial advisory solutions to retail investors through tax professionals located throughout the United States. Recognized as the largest tax professional-focused financial services company and third largest independent broker/dealer in the United States, H.D. Vest provides industry-leading training, technology, and support that enable tax professionals to deliver independent financial solutions to retail investors. Through over 4,800 securities-licensed tax professionals, H.D. Vest provides comprehensive financial services to more than 1.8 million individuals, families, and small businesses. For more information, visit www.hdvest.com.
About Parthenon Capital Partners
Parthenon Capital Partners is a leading mid-market private equity firm based in Boston and San Francisco. Parthenon utilizes niche industry expertise and a deep execution team to invest in growth companies in service industries. Parthenon seeks to be an active and aligned partner to management, either through recapitalization transactions or by backing new executives. Parthenon has particular expertise in business services, financial and insurance services and healthcare, but seeks any service, technology or delivery business with a strong value proposition and proprietary know-how. Parthenon’s investment team has deep experience in corporate strategy, capital markets and operations, enabling the firm to pursue complex, multi-faceted value creation opportunities. For more information, visit www.parthenoncapitalpartners.com.
About Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With approximately 280,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
About Wells Fargo Advisors
With more than $1.1 trillion in client assets, Wells Fargo’s brokerage businesses comprise more than 15,000 full-service financial advisors and 4,500 licensed bankers. This vast network of advisors, one of the nation’s largest, serves clients through offices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (members SIPC). For more information, visit www.wellsfargoadvisors.com.
About First Clearing Correspondent Services
First Clearing Correspondent Services provides a comprehensive suite of solutions to help full-service and independent retail broker-dealers run more efficiently, grow more confidently and protect more effectively. These include trade execution and clearance, securities settlement, record keeping, client confirmations and statements, broker workstation technology, access to a full range of investment products and services, and a unique growth-consulting program to help correspondent firms and advisors take their businesses to the next level. www.firstclearing.com.
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Parthenon Capital Partners