Lightyear Capital buys majority stake in Wealth Enhancement Group

Lightyear, led by former Paine Webber Group head Donald Marron, made $1.6 billion last year on the sale of Cetera Financial Group to RCS Capital Corporation, according to a press release.

Marron said Wealth Enhancement Group has strong leaders and a team-based approach that will enable it to grow quickly to the scale of a firm like Cetera.

“It’s smaller than Cetera was [at the time of purchase], but it’s more clearly aligned with what we want to do in the future,” Marron said by phone.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Lightyear will purchase the stake in the company that was held by a regional investment firm, Norwest Equity Partners, according to a Wealth Enhancement Group statement. Other stakeholders include several Wealth Enhancement employees.

With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, Wealth Enhancement Group’s 20 teams of advisers manage about $4.8 billion in assets for mass affluent and affluent clients. The average advisory team manages around $200 million in assets, said Wealth Enhancement Group Chief Executive Officer Jeff Dekko.

With Lightyear, Dekko said he hopes to take the firm national and acquire other registered investment advisors.

(Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)