On a quest to grow one of the country’s first big national RIAs, the Edelman name lives on.
A newly merged company formed by two large RIAs, Edelman Financial Services and Financial Engines, will call its retail presence Edelman Financial Engines.
The choice preserves the connection to one of the merger partners, bestselling author and media personality Ric Edelman, who built his firm to $22 billion in client assets over three decades. Financial Engines manages $180 billion client assets, mainly through employer 401(k) plans, while Edelman serves the retail market.
On the institutional side, the larger merger partner will retain the Financial Engines name, according to a news release.
“The new [retail] name symbolizes our company’s transformation to become the dominant provider of independent financial planning and investment management for American families," Jason Van de Loo, the firm’s senior vice president, said in the statement.
Edelman, who was not available for comment, had said he’d be willing to see his name disappear from the firm he founded if that was in the best interests of the new venture.
In the end, such a prospect proved unnecessary.
"I think it’s a great choice. I think it has meaning," says strategy consultant Craig Iskowitz, founder of Ezra Group Consulting in New York City. He said in September that the firm should either retain the Edelman brand or devise a new one. "If you’re targeting the kind of clients that Edelman was targeting, then they already know him. I think it has value on both the advisor and the client side. Most advisors know him."
Edelman has long discussed his ambition to build the country’s first $1 trillion AUM RIA, and said of his partnership with Financial Engines, "With this merger, we’re now a fifth of the way there."
The company now serves more than 83,000 families in 180 locations nationwide, according to the release, and more than 1 million clients through 770 large employers.