MAI Capital buys CCI Financial Group's wealth management business, signals more deals are in store

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Cleveland-based wealth manager MAI Capital Management has purchased the wealth management division of Akron’s CCI Financial Group Inc. in a small yet meaningful deal that signifies more to come.

CCI is a boutique office run by Jeffrey Reitzes, who was providing financial planning, investment advisory, tax, accounting and family business consulting services as a one-man show since establishing the office in 1981.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is effectively a succession plan for Reitzes, who is joining MAI as a managing director and has no immediate plans to retire.

“MAI shares our philosophy of putting clients first and providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management solutions that meet our clients’ objectives,” Reitzes said in a statement. “As we looked to the next phase of our business, we proactively sought a partner who mirrored our firm’s culture, and we saw great value in MAI’s commitment to providing enhanced resources, tools and solutions for our clients.”

The combination adds $100 million in assets under management (AUM) to MAI, growing AUM there to $5.5 billion. The firm has 111 employees.

MAI managing partner Rick Buoncore, who bought MAI in 2007, said he has a long history with Reitzes and considered working with him at his firm many years ago. The firm first brought up a potential merger to Reitzes in 2017.

It’s the second acquisition by MAI since the firm partnered with Wealth Partners Capital Group (WPCG) of Florida, which bought a 40% stake in MAI in July 2017. The first deal involved the acquisition of Calfee Financial Advisors in February 2018.

MAI was one of three firms WPCG took a minority stake in as part of a strategy to aggregate a network of wealth management businesses and arm those firms with capital to make acquisitions of their own. The other firms in the WPCG network are EP Wealth Advisors and Forbes Family Trust.

Buoncore emphasized that while the CCI deal may be small, it’s a harbinger of other deals to come. A couple others are in line to close in May and June. One would add a new state to MAI’s footprint.

“The pipeline is very strong,” Buoncore said. “We’re starting to see a lot of interest in the model we’ve created.”

In addition to its Cleveland headquarters, MAI has offices in Columbus; Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Nashua, N.H.; and Irvine, Calif.

MAI is the fifth-largest money manager in Northeast Ohio in terms of locally managed AUM, according to Crain’s research.