Long Ridge-backed Carson Group seeks new minority investor

The Moelis-run process kicks off approximately five years into Long Ridge's investment.

Long Ridge Equity Partners is looking to sell a minority stake in Carson Group Holdings, a provider of wealth management services to financial advisors and clients, sources familiar with the process told PE Hub.

The firm has hired Moelis to advise Carson on the fundraise, the people said. A process recently launched.

While Lion Ridge will partially exit its investment, Ron Carson, the company’s founder and CEO, will remain majority owner and may or may not sell part of his stake, the sources added.

Carson Group, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is dedicated to helping advisors better serve their clients and grow their firm. The company, founded in 1983 by Ron Carson, encompasses a few platforms: Carson Wealth, a financial planning division; Carson Coaching, one of the largest advisor coaching networks in the country; and Carson Partners, a platform offering marketing, technology, compliance, investments, and mergers and acquisitions support to advisors.

The company generates around $100 million in revenue and $40 million in EBITDA, the sources familiar said.

A stake sale could value Carson at over $800 million, as exits for high-growth companies in the wealth management sector command valuations at 20x EBITDA and higher, the people said.

Long Ridge in April 2016 injected $35 million in the company, then known as Carson Wealth Management, investing alongside its management team to become a minority investor.

Concurrent with the investment, Carson Wealth Management Group and Peak Advisor Alliance, a coaching and resource program also owned and operated by Ron Carson, announced their reorganization under a new parent holding company, Carson Group Holdings.

In October 2020, the company announced it had undertaken a capital raise to ramp up the number of minority investments it’s making in advisory firms joining its partnership. At that time, Carson had made nine minority investments in advisory firms, some of which were existing partners and some of which joined concurrent with the investment.

To support its M&A ambition, Carson recently added Christopher Page as vice president of mergers and acquisitions, bringing its team to six dedicated M&A specialists.

Carson currently manages $16 billion in assets and serves more than 36,000 client families across the United States.

Long Ridge and Moelis declined to comment. Carson Group did not respond to PE Hub’s request for comment.