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Texas company buys Central Florida financial adviser firm

As more retirees move down South, a local firm gets help from outside of state to maintain the influx coming in.
A rendering of the downtown Sarasota building that holds the office of Retirement Wealth Specialists. [Red Property Management]

Bluespring Wealth Partners, a recently formed Texas company that has been buying financial adviser businesses across the country, has acquired Retirement Wealth Specialists, which serves parts of Central and North Florida.

Retirement Wealth Specialists made the decision to join with Bluespring to help it further tap into Florida’s growing retirement demographic, said Mitchell Walk, the Florida firm’s cofounder and president. Joining forces also will help with Retirement Wealth Specialists’ plans to increase its presence along the state’s gulf coast, from Tampa south to Venice.

Retirement Wealth Specialists was founded in 1998 and manages assets totaling $400 million. The firm specializes in investing strategies, tax reduction, retirement and estate planning. It has offices in Sarasota, Longwood and St. Augustine.

Bluespring launched in July as the buying arm for Kestra Financial, a firm based in Austin, Texas that administers over $92 billion in assets, according to the company.

A portrait of Mitchell Walk, cofounder and president of Retirement Wealth Specialists. [Susan Cochran]

“We expect Bluespring to help with growth and even acquiring some other firms,” Walk said, adding that Bluespring has the ability to go out and find talent. Bluespring confirmed it is looking to acquire more firms nearby.

With Morgan Stanley announcing Thursday that it is buying E*Trade Financial Corp. for $13 billion, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, and other corporate wealth management firms melding with large companies in order to broaden their offerings, Walk said small firms like his can use the support from a bigger company.

“The smaller firms will probably get pushed out,” Walk said. “And when you can team up as we did, with a strong firm like Bluespring, it just gives us the back-office technology support and ability to get the staff that we’re going to need.”