Blucora unites HD Vest with 1st Global, calling them Avantax Wealth Management

Blucora is bringing together its HD Vest and 1st Global wealth management divisions less than six months after acquiring 1st Global, rebranding them as Avantax Wealth Management, with a focus on tax-planning advice.

Back in March, Blucora announced the acquisition of 1st Global for $180 million in stock (see HD Vest parent Blucora to acquire 1st Global for $180M). Both HD Vest Financial Services and 1st Global partner with accountants and tax professionals to help them offer financial planning and wealth management services to their clients. The idea was to combine HD Vest’s individual tax advisor focus with 1st Global’s institutional, multi-partner focus. Together, HD Vest and 1st Global have a total of 4,200 affiliated advisors overseeing more than $67 billion in client assets.

United under the new brand of Avantax Wealth Management, Blucora plans to provide tax-focused advice with cutting-edge tools and software.

AT-031919-HD Vest and 1st Global revenues

“With the launch of Avantax, we are creating a powerful brand for HD Vest and 1st Global that aims to redefine what Tax-Smart wealth management means,” said Blucora president of wealth management Enrique Vasquez in a statement. “Each year investors give up 1 to 2 percentage points of performance to taxes — we look forward to working with our advisors to elevate their businesses, communicate the importance of a tax-focused approach, and most importantly provide better solutions and results for clients.”

In June, Blucora debuted its proprietary Tax-Smart investing software to help advisors provide tax planning for clients. The initial Tax-Smart module focused on tax-loss harvesting, and the company plans to add more Tax-Smart modules by the end of the year.

The new Avantax brand will leverage the Tax-Smart software to give financial advisors tools and processes to combine tax planning and wealth management strategies for their clients.

“Unlike the broader financial industry, which treats taxes as a once-a-year event, we believe that every financial decision is, at its core, a tax decision,” said Blucora president and CEO John Clendening in a statement. “With this unification and rollout of new tools, Blucora, the first and largest holistic tax-focused financial provider, further strengthens its position and ability to provide clients with integrated tax and wealth management.”

The rebranding is expected to occur in two phases, with HD Vest converting to the Avantax Wealth Management name in mid-September, followed by 1st Global once it obtains regulatory approval.

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