We are thrilled to report that on January 1, 2022, Laird Norton Wealth Management (LNWM) joined forces with San Francisco-based Wetherby Asset Management (WAM), creating a firm national in scope and $15 billion in assets under management. The merger of LNWM and WAM will deepen and expand the capabilities we offer clients and extend our geographic footprint to include offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
We are now officially starting on a journey to create an extraordinary and unrivaled organization focused on enhancing the unique partnership we have with each of our clients.
Perhaps the most important thing about this merger is that it reinforces and builds on an operating philosophy that LNWM and WAM have long believed best serves clients: remain private, independent, and fee-only (paid only by clients).
As we watched a large number of our competitors sell their businesses to private equity firms in recent years, we were grateful for the financial stability provided by LNWM’s unique combination of ownership by a seventh-generation family business (the Laird Norton Co.) and our employees. Wetherby, founded by Debra Wetherby in 1990, was privately owned by employees. Going forward, a private and independent ownership structure will continue to align our incentives with those of our clients. Clients can trust that the advice we provide is objective and geared to help them achieve important financial, life, and legacy goals.
On top of that strong foundation are the unique strengths of LNWM and WAM, which complement and build on each other. By combining, we will be able to provide service enhancements that were already part of our strategic plans much faster and more efficiently than we could on our own.
Wetherby brings industry-leading expertise in ESG and sustainable investing, private market investments, family office services and adds to our in-house bench of experts in wealth planning, tax, and investments. LNWM’s trust company, founded in 1967, will allow more clients to benefit from trust management, administration and multi-generational wealth planning as part of their relationship with us.
Over time, we believe this merger will create more value for clients than the sum of our parts. It is a strategic investment by Laird Norton Company to create a vibrant, relevant and sustainable organization for all our stakeholders — clients, employees/owners, and the communities in which we live and work.
Senior leadership teams at LNWM and WAM are working to integrate operations in a measured and deliberative way so that we can co-create an organization that reflects our shared strengths and values. In the meantime, the two names – Laird Norton Wealth Management and Wetherby Asset Management – will remain in place.
LNWM CEO Kristen Bauer is the Chief Executive Officer of the combined entity, while Debra Wetherby continues as Managing Partner of WAM and is on LNWM’s expanded Board of Directors.
As Deb Wetherby said in our press release on the merger: “In Laird Norton, we’ve found a partner that shares our values and vision for the future, and we’re thrilled to go on this journey together.” Cheers to that.
Read our press release here, and recent media coverage about the merger below: