Univest News

Univest Financial Corporation Streamlines Wealth Services as Girard

Five Years after Acquiring RIA, Girard Partners, Univest Rebrands its Wealth Division

Univest Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UVSP) parent company of Univest Bank and Trust Co., marked the fifth anniversary of the acquisition of registered investment advisory (RIA) firm formerly known as Girard Partners, LTD., with a commitment to the Girard brand. Effective January 1, 2019, Univest’s full-service, wealth division began delivering its wealth management and investment services under the Girard brand to capitalize on the national footprint that the RIA has created. Girard, with the backing of Univest, delivers financial planning, retirement plan services, brokerage, investment advisory advice, trust services and a full range of insurance and private banking solutions. Girard’s wealth lines of business remain subsidiaries of Univest Bank and Trust Co.

“As we reflected on the evolution of our wealth management lines of business, we recognized that the RIA model and fiduciary-centric advisor-client relationship the acquisition of Girard brought to the Univest family is most sought after by our existing and prospective clients,” said Kevin Norris, president of Girard. “In the last few years, our RIA business has generated referrals and new clients from markets far beyond Univest’s 39 financial centers located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We want to capitalize on the growing recognition of the Girard brand.”

Girard has seven offices in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, and currently serves clients in 19 states and online at www.meetgirard.com.

In connection with the rebranding, the entities using the Girard name were converted from corporations to limited liability companies. Below are the legal entities that make up Girard.

  • Girard Advisory Services, LLC (formerly known as Girard Partners LTD.) provides investment advisory services.
  • Girard Investment Services, LLC (formerly known as Univest Investments, Inc.) is a registered broker dealer, member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency.
  • Girard Pension Services, LLC (formerly known as TCG Investment Advisory, Inc.) provides investment advisory and pension consulting services for Pennsylvania municipal entities.

While the wealth management, retirement plan and broker-dealer businesses will transition to the Girard brand, the bank’s trust services, lending, deposit and insurance services will continue to operate under the Univest brand.

“Investors are demanding more from the advisory industry in regard to service, capabilities and technology,” said Norris. “We are in a unique position – we have an expanding RIA backed by a financial corporation that can provide clients with added solutions, like trust services and lending. To be, and remain, an elite firm, we need to continually evolve in order to provide clients with unparalleled service.”

The inspiration for the Girard brand harkens back to Stephen Girard, a Philadelphia area businessman and banker who made his name in the early 1800’s for backstopping the United States government during The War of 1812. The financial lineage, as well as the Philadelphia roots and national impact of Girard, exemplifies the perspective the RIA is bringing to its future growth plans.

“The legacy of Stephen Girard reflects our long-standing commitment to our home market and the impact we believe our wealth services can have on a national level,” added Jeff Schweitzer, president and CEO of Univest Financial Corporation. “Univest has grown organically and acquisitively over the years into one of the strongest financial institutions headquartered in southeastern Pennsylvania. This is a result of our focus on continually evolving our business to remain relevant and to differentiate Univest and its subsidiaries in this competitive financial industry. The effort to streamline the wealth brand underscores our commitment to delivering comprehensive, contemporary and convenient planning, advice and wealth solutions.”

About Univest Financial Corporation

Univest FinancialSM (UVSP), including its wholly-owned subsidiary Univest Bank and Trust Co., Member FDIC, has approximately $4.8 billion in assets and $3.6 billion in assets under management and supervision through Girard, its wealth management division, as of September 30, 2018. Headquartered in Souderton, Pa. and founded in 1876, the Corporation and its subsidiaries provide a full-range of financial solutions for individuals, businesses, municipalities and nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. For more information visit www.univest.net.


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