M&A Roundup: Sax acquires Sterling; Cruise adds AC Tax & Accounting

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Sax Wealth Advisors acquires Sterling Portfolio Management

Details: Sax Wealth Advisors, a subsidiary of the accounting firm Sax LLP, has acquired Sterling Porfolio Management, a wealth management firm based in Tuxedo, N.Y.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sterling founder Gregory Duffy has grown his firm to nearly $40 million in assets under management. With the new acquisition, Sax Wealth Advisors now advises clients who have approximately $850 million in assets under management.

As part of the transition, Duffy will join Sax’s team as a wealth advisor while continuing to serve his longstanding clients. Duffy was a sole practitioner. Sax Wealth Advisors will now have three partners, two wealth advisors (including Duffy), two portfolio advisors and two members of the client service team.

“Sax Wealth Advisors was the natural next step for our firm,” Duffy said in a statement. “We espouse the same principles on empirically supported investment education, and intend to utilize our combined knowledge and expertise to best serve our clients.”

Sterling has served the New York metropolitan area since 2002, using academic research for its investment funds.

“Sterling’s commitment to evidence-based investing and their high standards of professional integrity and client service is an ideal match to our mission and values,” said Kyle Stawicki, partner-in-charge of Sax Wealth Advisors, in a statement. “Joining forces will only make our team’s service quality and capabilities that much stronger.”

Sax LLP, based in Clifton, N.J., ranked 22nd on Accounting Today’s Regional Leaders list of the Top Firm in the Mid-Atlantic region in 2017, with $30 million in annual revenue.


Cruise & Associates acquires AC Tax & Accounting

Details: Cruise & Associates, based in Columbus, Neb., has purchased AC Tax & Accounting, an Omaha firm owned by Cheryl Coulson.

Coulson sold her practice because she plans to retire. “After Coulson’s decision to retire, she wanted to ensure her clients would continue to receive personalized and high-quality services along with additional services to help minimize client tax liability and maximize their income,” said Cruise & Associates president Rob Cruise in a statement. “Another perk to this merger is the close proximity of office locations.”

Cruise has offices in Columbus, Albion, Lincoln and Omaha. Coulson’s clients will be serviced by Cruise’s office in Omaha, where the firm has maintained a presence since 2001.

Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed. Cruise & Associates has 22 people, including six stockholders. Coulson was a sole proprietor, with only one staff member.

This is Cruise’s second acquisition within the past year. Last August the firm acquired John R. Carmichael PC in Lincoln, Neb.

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