H.D. Vest, an investment advisory firm that partners with many tax practitioners, will be sold by its corporate parent Wells Fargo to Parthenon Capital Partners, a private equity firm.

Irving, Texas-based H.D. Vest provides independent financial services to over 1.8 million retail investors through an advisor base of over 4,800 securities‐licensed tax professionals. Following the transaction, H.D. Vest’s existing management team, led by CEO Roger Ochs, will continue to operate the business.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Wells Fargo acquired the firm for $128 million in 2001, according to Bloomberg.com, and the firm had a book value of about $142 million as of last December, according to an SEC filing. The firm was founded in 1983 by Herb D. Vest.

“We are excited to partner with Parthenon Capital Partners to complete the purchase of H.D. Vest from Wells Fargo,” Ochs said in a statement. “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.”

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.

Wells Fargo Advisors president and CEO Danny Ludeman 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.

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