Congress Wealth Management, initially an offshoot of Congress Asset Management, was shaped significantly by Paul Lonergan, its original employee and co-founder. Over time, it expanded geographically, but a focus on more significant growth led to a strategic shift towards acquisitions.
Recognizing the need for a more effective growth strategy, Congress Wealth Management partnered with Gladstone Associates, led by Dan Kreuter and Mike Bilotta. This partnership marked a significant transition from organic expansion to strategic acquisitions, facilitated by Gladstone’s insights and network.
Through Gladstone’s guidance, including the assistance of Derek Bruton, Congress recapitalized with Audax Private Equity in June 2023 which equipped the firm with the capital and expertise necessary to complete multiple acquisitions, significantly boosting assets under management. Lonergan noted, “Our collaboration with Gladstone was distinguished by their detailed and thoughtful process, emphasizing cultural fit and strategic alignment, rather than just financial transactions. This strategic alliance is a key factor in our success.”
Lonergan further emphasizes the uniqueness of Gladstone’s approach, saying, “Comprehensive and authentic – these two words encapsulate our experience with Gladstone. Their approach, marked by transparency, honesty, and accessibility, builds a foundation of trust essential for any successful partnership.”
The partnership with Gladstone Associates transformed Congress Wealth Management’s growth trajectory, increasing its assets under management from $2.5 billion to over $7.3 billion. “The impact of this partnership has been immediate and profound. It not only enhanced our strategies but underscored the importance of having a trusted advisor who deeply understands the industry,” said Lonergan.
Looking forward, Congress Wealth Management is well-positioned for future growth, with a solid team and strategic partnerships, largely thanks to the foundation laid by their collaboration with Gladstone Associates.