BKD and DHG complete merger, unveil Forvis Wealth Advisors

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Top 20 Firms BKD CPAs & Advisors and Dixon Hughes Goodman completed their previously announced megamerger Wednesday, rebranding the combined firm as Forvis (short for “forward vision”) and launching Forvis Wealth Advisors, a combination of BKD Wealth Advisors and DHG Wealth Advisors.

The two firms originally announced the deal in February, saying the combination would create a Top 10 firm with over $1.4 billion in annual revenue once the transaction closed on June 1 (see story). They later announced their intention to rebrand the combined firm as Forvis (see story). On Wednesday, when the deal was completed, they announced the renaming of their combined wealth management practice to reflect the new brand. The combined entity will be called Forvis Wealth Advisors as a registered investment advisory firm, but it will market itself as Forvis Private Client to clients across the country.

BKD Wealth Advisors, based in Springfield, Missouri, had over $5.36 billion in assets under management, according to Accounting Today’s newly released Wealth Magnets list for 2022. Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors, based in Asheville, North Carolina, had over $2.35 billion in assets under management. 

Forvis Wealth Advisors will have a footprint in 23 cities in 12 states and a portfolio of more than $7.7 billion in assets under management and $1.5 billion in assets under advisement, as of March 31, 2022, according to the firm. It will provide wealth management services to high-net-worth individuals and families, businesses and foundations.

Steve Toomey was named managing partner and president of Forvis Wealth Advisors and Will Sneed as executive vice president. Toomey spent 20 years with BKDWA prior to the Forvis merger. Sneed worked for over 15 years with DHGWA before the merger. Jeff Layman will serve as chief investment officer after spending 22 years in a similar role for BKDWA.  

“This merger gives clients access to a deepened pool of wealth management expertise, and the connection to our parent firm, Forvis, provides clients access to a broad array of tax, accounting, and advisory services as well,” Toomey said in a statement Wednesday. “We’re extremely excited about the resources we can bring to bear for our clients as a combined entity.”

He believes the merger will also create more opportunities for career growth and mobility among Forvis Wealth Advisors around the country as the firm looks to hire advisors in a highly competitive market.

“Our passion to bring financial clarity and peace of mind to high-net-worth individuals and families, businesses, and foundations remains the same,” Sneed said in a statement. “We are more committed than ever to bringing our multidisciplinary team approach to the table with innovative and forward-thinking ideas to help our clients solve their complex financial issues and achieve their life goals.”