Carson Group, Financial Technology & Services Leader, Selects Bain Capital as Strategic Partner

Posted on July 14, 2021

Carson Group, one of the fastest-growing financial technology and services firms in the country, today announced that it has received a strategic investment from Bain Capital, valuing the business over $1 billion. The investment, along with a commitment to provide additional growth capital, will help the Company support its continued growth, technology development, and expansion by acquisition. Carson Group will continue to operate under its current executive leadership team, led by Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ron Carson, who will remain the majority owner.

Founded in 1983 by Carson and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Carson Group serves financial advisors and investors through its three businesses — Carson WealthCarson Coaching, and Carson Partners. Carson Group has created an ecosystem dedicated to helping financial advisors unleash the full potential of their firms by providing marketing, compliance, technology, investment strategies, succession planning, M&A support, and coaching. The company currently manages more than $17 billion in assets and serves more than 37,000 families among its advisor network of 110 partner offices, including 30 Carson Wealth locations.

“Our extensive search for a strategic partner over the last few months gave us an incredible opportunity to explore the value an investor could bring to our mission to be the most trusted for financial advice. The process taught us how uniquely positioned we are, how we could add exponential value to our advisors and, by extension, leverage our collective capabilities to build a client experience that sits at the forefront of the financial services industry,” said Carson. “We are grateful to Long Ridge for their partnership over these last five years of growth and development. Looking forward at this exciting inflection point, Bain Capital is the ideal fit for us– culturally and strategically. We wanted an investing partner who brings deep operational knowledge and resources to help further our efforts and ensure we continue to deliver a compelling value proposition to our advisors and their clients. I can’t think of anything more exciting than finding a partner like Bain Capital who shares our enthusiasm and drive for building a 100-year company.”

Bain Capital has a long history of investing in and partnering with founders and management teams to accelerate the growth of companies. The firm’s financial services and fintech investments have included Acorns, Applied Systems, AvidXchange, Billtrust, Corvus Insurance, esure Group, FleetCor Technologies, Nets, Nexi, Passport, SigFig, SquareTrade, Vertafore, and Worldpay.

“The Carson Group family of companies are well-respected for their growth focus, coaching playbook, and differentiated technology platform, and they continue to thrive because of the company’s vision and unrelenting dedication to helping advisors become true fiduciaries,” said Jeff Robinson, a Managing Director at Bain Capital. “We are excited to be a strategic partner with Ron and the team to drive the next-gen experience for advisors with investments in technology, operations, sales, and acquisitions so, in turn, they can provide an unparalleled experience to their clients,” added Cristian Jitianu, a Principal at Bain Capital.

“In a very large and highly fragmented market, Carson Group stands out with a differentiated value proposition for advisors and clients, and we are excited to help accelerate the growth and further build out a strategic platform reshaping the future of financial advice,” said Olof Bergqvist a Managing Director at Bain Capital.

Carson Group is consistently recognized as one of the leading RIAs and wealth management firms in the industry and a Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers. In 2020, Carson Group was included in the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies for the fourth consecutive year and was ranked #135 on the 2021 Inc. 5000 Regional list for the Midwest.

In conjunction with the transaction, Bain Capital purchased the equity interests from Long Ridge Equity Partners, which led a minority investment in the company in 2016.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor, and Quarles & Brady LLP served as legal counsel to Carson Group. Ardea Partners LP served as financial advisor, Kirkland and Ellis LLP as legal counsel, and KPMG LLP as accounting and tax advisor to Bain Capital.