Short Hills, N.J.-based Classic Capital Joins Buckingham

Buckingham, the St. Louis-based financial services firm, is expanding its nationwide presence by acquiring New Jersey-based Classic Capital, Inc. Classic Capital will assume the Buckingham name.

Like Buckingham, Classic provides investment management and financial planning to individuals, families and institutional retirement plans. The firm was founded in 1989 by Jay Leonard, who brings to Buckingham more than 40 years of experience in financial services.

Buckingham CEO Adam Birenbaum says the move made sense given the two firms share the same commitment to holistic wealth management and evidence-based investing. “We’ve been friends and admirers of Jay and Andrew Leonard. They have built a wonderful firm that was the perfect cultural, ideological and service-centered fit for us.”

The addition of a New Jersey office brings Buckingham’s total to eight locations, with two more planned in the next 100 days. “This transaction continues our strategic effort to have geographically diverse locations and bolsters our resources and our ability to serve clients around the country,” says Birenbaum.

Jay Leonard says he and his team are excited to join Buckingham. “We share a common belief in doing the right thing and acting in clients’ best interests at all times. We have the same core values and evidence-based investment philosophy. Aligning our efforts will allow us to deliver deeper, more comprehensive solutions to our clients.” DeVoe & Company acted as the investment banker to Classic Capital, Inc.

The merger with Classic also brings associates Nicole Gould and Maury Viola to the Buckingham team and approximately $225 million in assets under management (as of Dec. 31, 2014). This continues the firm’s success with supplementing its impressive organic growth efforts with transactions, a strategy it has employed now since October of 2010, with important support from Focus Financial Partners.  “This move is a huge win for everyone involved. Our New Jersey team is able to offer an even deeper level of service to their clients around the country, while we continue to add to our exceptional talent base,” says Birenbaum.

Buckingham is a partner firm within Focus Financial Partners and a member of the BAM ALLIANCE, a community of more than 140 independent, like-minded advisory firms throughout the country that collectively manage more than $24.7 billion (as of Dec. 31, 2014).

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