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Eaton Vance to Expand in Florida, Acquire WaterOak Advisors

Zacks Equity Research

Eaton Vance Corp. EV, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, will acquire the assets of the Winter Park, FL-based wealth management firm, WaterOak Advisors, LLC. The terms of the transaction, still subject to certain closing conditions, have not been disclosed.

WaterOak, with about $2 billion of client assets under management (AUM), provides wealth advisory services and is one of the leading providers of fiduciary wealth management services in Florida. Eaton Vance Investment Counsel also offers wealth management services and has an AUM of $8.2 billion as of Apr 30, 2020.

As part of the deal, L. Clarke Lemons, founder and president of WaterOak, Stephen Curley and Scott Macaione, along with their team, will join Eaton Vance Investment Counsel.

David C. McCabe, president of Eaton Vance Investment Counsel said, "Eaton Vance and WaterOak share a focus on customized client service and a commitment to long-term relationships, based on comprehensive wealth management with integrity. Our vision is to offer industry-leading wealth solutions, encompassing tax-aware investment management, risk management, and financial planning strategies to sophisticated investors.”

Lemons stated, “We enter this partnership with great excitement and look forward to expanding our offerings to include Eaton Vance's distinctive array of wealth management solutions. Our ability to serve clients will be significantly enhanced.”

Shares of Eaton Vance, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company, have lost 13.3%, over the past year, compared with the 4.5% decline recorded by the industry. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.


Asset managers across the globe are making consolidation efforts to improve their market share and profitability amid the tough operating backdrop. Also, the current rise in passive, low-cost index funds has been taking a toll on the industry players’ financials. This June, AllianceBernstein AB, through AllianceBernstein L.P., acquired AnchorPath Financial, LLC. Earlier in February, Franklin Resources Inc. BEN announced an all-cash deal to acquire Legg Mason LM for $4.5 billion.

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