August 19, 2008

Fisher Investments Buys Another RIA

Ken Fisher's firm buys Lighthouse Partners of Houston

Ken Fisher's Fisher Investments announced that it has closed on its second acquisition of an RIA firm, Lighthouse Capital Management of Houston, a 20-year-old practice with $460 million in AUM that was founded by Paul Horton. On December 31, 2007, Fisher closed on its first RIA acquisition, that of Econostrat of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. While Mark Scalzo, the group VP who heads M&A at Fisher Investments, would not reveal the price paid for Lighthouse, he did say "we're paying north of the market," and that the "pricing was very competitive; if the median multiple is 2.5 to 3.0, we're significantly above." Scalzo further pointed out that about 60% of the purchase price was paid up front.

Scalzo said Horton had been asked to join Fisher's M&A advisory board, and that three members of Lighthouse will consult for Fisher for up to a year on their clients' transition to Fisher Investments' Private Client Group.

Scalzo noted that while "some of the financial rollup firms have slowed a bit" recently in their acquisitions of advisory firms as credit has tightened, Fisher is "well-positioned to quickly act on opportunities such as Lighthouse."

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