Friday, March 1, 2024

Laird Norton and Wetherby Unite Under Single Brand -Dlight News

Almost exactly two years after the merger of Laird Norton Asset Management and Wetherby Asset Management created a $15 billion registered investment advisory and trust company, the firm has brought all offices under a single branded entity, Laird Norton Wetherby.

“We developed this new brand in our clients’ interests and through their eyes,” LNW CEO Kristen Bauer said in a statement. “They wanted the firm to represent a strategic partnership, people who understood their bigger picture, and would be active advocates for their ambitions.”

Since January 2022, the firms have been operating under original branding but all six offices—previous Wetherby locations in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and Laird offices in Philadelphia, Seattle and Sioux Falls, S.D.—have all adopted the new nomenclature and signage.

Laird Norton Wetherby logo­­According to LNW, the brand is meant to represent a home, “a place where people can pursue their goals, know they’re cared for and be surrounded by dedicated experts.”

“Our warm and skillful approach to wealth planning, investment management and trust and estate services remains in place, all with enhanced expertise in family governance and legacy planning, trust administration, impact investing and more,” the firm said in a website post.

After opening two new offices since the merger—Sioux Falls and Philadelphia—the combined company now manages closer to $14 billion in assets for around 1,100 clients, most of whom are ultra-wealthy individuals, according to the firm and federal filings.

A firm spokesperson said market fluctuation can be blamed for the drop in assets, but noted that LNW has added 90 clients and $1 billion in net new assets ($459 million in 2022 and $540 million in 2023) while enjoying a client retention rate of 97%. Headcount has also increased by 9% since the merger, bringing the firm to 192 employees after 48 new hires.

Partially employee-owned, LNW is principally owned by the Laird Norton Company, which was founded in 1855 and also owns Seattle-based Laird Norton Properties and the Laird Norton Family Foundation.

LNW’s Chief Technology Officer Trevor Hicks recently spoke with WealthManagement.com regarding the challenges of marrying two tech stacks as the firm moved toward the unification, a process that is still underway.

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