NorthStar Financial Services, as it’s known today, grew out of Patrick Clarke’s vision to build a small financial planning firm in Omaha, Neb. in 1975.

For many years, NorthStar seemed to go under the radar, while the industry paid close attention to prominent players in the RIA space like Envestnet and HighTower.

But the emerging force out of Omaha now has assets approaching $300 billion and 700 employees, and consists of seven standalone companies aimed at helping investment advisors run better businesses.

And just earlier this year, NorthStar announced its acquisition by private equity firm TA Associates, which promises to give the firm an infusion of capital for acquisitions of its own. The rest of the industry is taking notice.

Follow the firm’s storied journey through history below…

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