Lucia Capital Group, led by former LPL Financial (LPLA) executive Derek Bruton, says it has inked its first acquisition.
On Wednesday, the San Diego-based wealth management firm said it had signed a deal to buy the managed equity and fixed income accounts of West Coast Asset Management, an independent RIA in Santa Barbara, Calif., with some $170 million in client assets that uses Charles Schwab (SCHW) as its custodian.
The deal means that two WCAM leaders will join its operations: Lance Helfert, president of WCAM, is now a senior vice president of Lucia Capital, while WCAM Chief Investment Officer Atticus Lowe, CFA, is part of its research and investment management group.
With the addition of the WCAM, Lucia Capital now has 17 offices, some $2.3 billion in client assets and more than 70 employees.
“We wanted to find a group that would fit with Lucia Capital and have been looking for this type of acquisition,” said Bruton in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “This is the right acquisition for our clients, because we focus on equities … and WCAM’s alternative and fixed-income solutions can help us serve our clients better.”
In addition, the CEO notes, this purchase is part of Lucia Capital’s multiyear growth strategy. “As we said when I joined the firm a few months ago, we are focused on growing exponentially through acquisitions,” Bruton explained.
In WCAM’s case, the acquisition was especially attractive because it adds research and portfolio management expertise. “Any good acquisition is about looking for opportunities to address the gaps in your offerings,” he said.
The group also brings a network of relationships with high-net-worth clients, along with “top-tier talent” that such clients expect, Bruton notes.
“Our focus has been on the mass affluent and will continue to be so,” he said. “But this deal tips us more toward high net worth than in the past … and opens up further possibilities for us.”