Experienced Private Equity Professional Kent Weldon Will Align Strategic Relationships, Growth Expertise and Investment Capital with Venturi’s Distinctive Model
Move Underscores Austin-based Venturi’s Position as Leading Private Wealth Advisory Firm for First-Generation Wealth Creators in the Southwest
Venturi Offers Compelling Partnership Opportunity for HNW- and UHNW-Focused Wealth Advisors Across Fast-Growing Region
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Venturi Private Wealth (“Venturi”), a wealth management firm focused on serving the complex needs of high-net-worth (HNW) and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals, families and business owners, today announced the receipt of a significant strategic investment from Bravura Capital.
As part of this investment, Bravura Capital – the private investment vehicle of 25-year private equity industry leader Kent Weldon – will deliver strategic relationships, growth expertise and additional capital to the leadership team of Venturi Private Wealth. Mr. Weldon will also join Venturi’s Board of Advisors. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Bravura Capital’s strategic investment underscores Venturi’s success in executing its multi-year growth vision since its launch in 2015. With over $2.1 billion in client assets, Venturi has become the top destination for first-generation wealth creators throughout the fast-growing Southwest. Today, the firm has offices in Austin and Oklahoma City, and its 30 professionals have expertise in investments, planning, wealth strategy and alternative investments.
Supporting Underserved UHNW Clients, First-Gen Wealth Creators
Russ Norwood, CEO and Founder of Venturi Private Wealth, said, “We formed Venturi Private Wealth after many years as successful financial advisors at Merrill Lynch PBIG. Our decision to exit well-established and very successful wirehouse careers was spurred by one key trend: In the years following the financial crisis, high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families and business owners – especially first-generation wealth creators – had lost trust in large financial institutions. These clients were increasingly open to working with independent firms with the expertise and resources to service their complex needs.”
“Individuals who are the first members of their family to create significant liquid wealth – generally through the sale of a privately owned business or as corporate executives – face complexities that other HNW and UHNW clients do not, including everything related to legacy planning, building a strategy for investing in the public markets for the first time and having access to a wide range of carefully vetted alternative investments,” continued Mr. Norwood.
Norwood added, “Successful liquidity events for business owners are continuing to multiply, which is creating more HNW and UHNW clients, many of whom are not getting the guidance they require. This is precisely why we have been meticulous in bringing together the expertise, platforms and access to private investments that allow us to address their needs comprehensively. Equally important is our carefully cultivated culture that combines white-glove service with a clear sense of energy and entrepreneurialism, attributes that resonate well with first-generation wealth creators.”
As part of the firm’s growth strategy – which includes the goal of increasing client assets from $2.1 billion to $10 billion over the next several years – Venturi Private Wealth will look to recruit and acquire firms and advisors who not only are a strong match for the firm’s distinctive culture but complement the existing team’s specialized expertise in supporting the underserved UHNW and HNW client segment.
Venturi Approach Emphasizes Building Strong Regional Partnerships
Commenting on the strategic investment from Bravura Capital, Mr. Norwood said, “Finding a collaborative strategic partner was much more important to our team than merely accessing growth capital. There was no shortage of investors interested in becoming a part of our firm’s ongoing growth story, but Kent distinguished himself from the outset with his vision, expertise and knowledge of our target market, as well as his long-term, patient capital approach.”
Kent Weldon of Bravura Capital said, “Venturi’s strategy of building an integrated, market-leading regional company serving clients in the Southwest is different than many other growth strategies I see in the independent space today. I’m impressed by the depth of the Venturi team, the breadth of its services, its commitment to client service and the incredibly deliberate and thoughtful approach the firm has taken in pursuit of its growth goals.”
“Going forward, Bravura Capital’s goal is to accelerate Venturi’s already considerable lead in supporting HNW and UHNW individuals, families and business owners across the Southwest. As part of this effort, I’m excited to partner with the firm to grow its base of wealth advisors in this region who have expertise serving this client segment.”
New Investments in Senior Expertise
As part of this announcement, Venturi also noted that it has made the following investments in senior talent:
Sylvia Bell hired as Chief Operating Officer – Ms. Bell came to Venturi Private Wealth from the Investment Management Division of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, where she also served as COO. There, she helped oversee a $180 billion public pension and more than 800 employees. Previously, she served in audit and advisory roles with Deloitte, Oracle and J.P. Morgan. Ms. Bell is a Certified Public Accountant.
Christopher M. Schelling hired as Director of Alternative Investments – During his career as an institutional investor, Mr. Schelling invested $5 billion and met with over 3,000 managers across hedge funds, real assets, private credit and private equity. Previously, he was a managing director at Windmuehle Funds, a boutique investment firm; Director of Private Equity at the $35 billion Texas Municipal Retirement System; and Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Director of Absolute Return at the $15 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems. He will focus on sourcing, performing due diligence and building portfolios of alternative investments for clients.
Norwood concluded, “Venturi Private Wealth has the good fortune to be based in Austin, which along with the rest of the broader Southwest is fast becoming a preferred destination for driven, highly entrepreneurial professionals across various fields. That, combined with the investments we have made in our people, the quality of our technology, our shared culture and the strength of our professional partnerships, uniquely positions us to compete for and win business against our traditional national competitors. We’re excited to partner with Bravura Capital as we embark upon the next stage of growth for our firm and, most importantly, our clients.”
Berkshire Global Advisors served as financial advisor to Venturi for the strategic investment transaction, with Bomy Hagopian, Partner, leading the Berkshire team. DLA Piper served as counsel to Venturi.
About Venturi Private Wealth
Recently recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the region by the Austin Business Journal, Venturi Private Wealth delivers comprehensive wealth advisory, planning and investment management services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals, families and business owners. Based in Austin, Texas, with satellite offices in Oklahoma City, Venturi Private Wealth manages over $2.1 billion in client assets, and has unique expertise in supporting first-generation wealth creators and other underserved UHNW and HNW clients. For more information, please visit our website.
About Bravura Capital
Bravura Capital is the private investment vehicle of Kent Weldon, a 25-year veteran leader in the private equity space. Bravura Capital serves as a strategic partner to companies across industry sectors seeking to reach a new level of growth, founded and led by entrepreneurs with a compelling path for future success. The firm takes minority stakes in founder-led businesses, emphasizing alignment of vision, collaboration and a culture of integrity and character. For more information, please visit the Bravura Capital website.
SOURCE Venturi Private Wealth