$300m duo launches Summit-affiliated RIA

Mike Halvorsen and Joseph Bates have launched MRK Wealth Advisors in Doylestown, Pa.

A father and stepson duo in Pennsylvania is launching a Summit Financial-affiliated RIA. 

Mike Halvorsen and his stepson, Joseph Bates, have set up MRK Wealth Advisors in Doylestown, Pa., a Bucks County town north of Philadelphia. Halvorsen and Bates were previously affiliated with Asset Planning Services, a Harleysville, Pa.-based RIA with roughly $866.8m in assets under management.

Halvorsen told Citywire he elected to affiliate with Summit Financial because ‘it was the best technology and resources of any platform we reviewed.’

Advisors who affiliate with Summit Financial keep the equity in their own business entity and use SummitVantage, a single sign-on portal which contains Summit Financial’s investment platform and provides advisors access to Addepar, Salesforce, and eMoney Advisor for performance reporting, client relationship management and financial planning, respectively.

‘This is probably the holy grail of our entire formula,’ Summit Financial chief executive Stan Gregor (pictured) said of SummitVantage.

There are roughly 45 teams affiliated with Summit Financial, which manages around $3.4bn in assets and advises on $1.6bn more. The firm is backed by Merchant Investment Management, a serial minority investor in RIAs and RIA-adjacent businesses.

‘We anticipate bring maybe three to five advisory firms onto our platform in all likelihood before the end of the year,’ said Ed Friedman, Summit Financial’s director of business development and growth.