Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors Rolls Up Another California RIA

BPWA’s Santa Barbara-based Pacific Pointe rollup adds $175 million in AUM and highlights how RIA-to-RIA deals are on the upswing

Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors President Matt Cooper and his Alliance for RIAs (aRIA) study group were named to Investment Advisor’s IA 25 list in 2013. Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors President Matt Cooper and his Alliance for RIAs (aRIA) study group were named to Investment Advisor’s IA 25 list in 2013.

Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors has added registered investment advisor Pacific Pointe in a rollup partnership that adds $175 million in assets under management to the firm, BPWA announced Monday.

Pacific Pointe, based in Santa Barbara, is the fourth California location to be added to BPWA, a Beacon Pointe Advisors RIA based in Newport Beach, Calif. The expansion marks BPWA’s second deal in five months and its fifth addition of an advisory firm to BPWA.

BPWA projects that it will reach nearly $1 billion in total AUM by year end, and it plans to continue its California expansion while adding to its geographic footprint in Denver, Boston and Richmond. It is 100% owned by each of the advisor partners that have joined RIA Beacon Pointe Advisors, which has AUM of $5.8 billion.

The advisor partners at BPWA do not hesitate to use the term “rollup,” an industry term that other firms with a long-term home for advisors have shied away from using, according to Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors President Matt Cooper, whose Alliance for RIAs (aRIA) study group was named to Investment Advisor’s IA 25 list in 2013.

“The reason that makes firms cringe is because they try to position as something they’re not, and when the media calls them out on it, they get upset,” Cooper said in a statement. “But the bottom line is that if we know the value we provide, and our advisor partners know it, and feel good about why they joined and how it helps them and their clients, then you can call us whatever you want as long as you acknowledge the good we’re doing.”

RIA-to-RIA M&A on the Upswing

The deal highlights how RIA-to-RIA deals are on the upswing.  BPWA is actively looking to expand with growth-focused regional partners in the $100 million to $300 million range. BPWA has set a growth goal of one deal per quarter for the next 10 years and is already ahead of the pace it has set for itself.

David DeVoe, a strategic consultant to BPWA and former Schwab Advisor Services managing director of strategic business development, points out that the new transaction is “a great example of how RIAs are intelligently using M&A" to achieve their business growth goals. “Beacon Pointe is leveraging the scale and infrastructure of its $6 billion business to provide BPWA Santa Barbara with a more concentrated focus on accelerating growth,” DeVoe said in a statement.

Pacific Pointe, the newest RIA to join BPWA, was first introduced to Beacon Pointe Advisors in 2009 when it formed its own RIA. It has been reviewing the benefits of officially joining BPWA since 2011.

'A Bigger Brand, A Bigger Story'

One of the key drivers for its decision was the exceptional growth of the first firms to join BPWA. The initial partner firm has grown from $130 million in AUM to $217 million now, at nearly 30% annualized growth, while the second partner firm has experienced greater than 400% growth, to $215 million in AUM from $50 million, according to BPWA officials.

“We saw this as a marriage of resources, granting us access to a bigger brand, a bigger story and more marketing power in our own backyard," said Gary Dorfman, Pacific Pointe founding partner, in a statement, "and the transition has been seamless.”

Read Beacon Pointe Lured by CPA Services in Latest Acquisition at ThinkAdvisor.

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