Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors, the Southern California RIA that’s grown out of an institutional consulting business since launching 13 years ago, has purchased its first East Coast office in the pursuit of a national footprint and brand.
The firm announced today that it is purchasing Boston firm TPW Financial, a high-net-worth private client shop with $300 million in assets. The acquisition will bring Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors’ assets to about $1.4 billion, and the combined assets of its firm family, including parent Beacon Pointe Advisors, to about $8.5 billion.
TPW, situated in the Boston suburb of Newton, was founded in 2004 by Chitra Staley, an early participant in the socially responsible investing world with a resume that includes stints at Crosby Advisors (the family office for the founders of Fidelity) and Trillium Asset Management. She was recently joined by Mark Mathers, a Silver Bridge Advisors alum who helped get the parties introduced and came aboard TPW as a precursor to the Beacon Pointe sale.
“Chita has a deep background in SRI, or socially responsible impact investing,” says Matt Cooper, who leads Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors. “Most of her clients have an interest in that. So we’ve asked her to join our investment committee.” He points out that there are a lot of endowments and universities among Beacon Pointe’s institutional clients, and they are asking more questions about sustainability and impact investing. Staley’s hire gives the firm a much deeper SRI bench.
“The big winner here for us is that this is our first East Coast partner,” Cooper says. Before now, Beacon Pointe’s offices were mostly out west—in Newport Beach and San Jose, among other California locales, as well as Scottsdale, Ariz.
Cooper says that he was introduced to Mathers earlier this year by a friend at another company in the Boston area. “The Monday after the Super Bowl, I was in Boston. There was a blizzard. The city shut down. So Mark made it into town. We had a breakfast meeting at the Fairmont hotel in Copley Plaza. So I had to walk through four feet of snow drifts to get across the street to have breakfast with him in the morning.”
Mathers, after the meeting, went to Staley, a longtime business acquaintance, with the idea of the three joining forces, realizing they could put together something even bigger. Mathers’ interest was having a much bigger financial planning firm to partner with. He also says the stability of a larger firm was important (his old firm Silver Bridge was bought by Banyan Partners, then again scooped up by Boston Private bank. “My clients have had four different names on their statements,” he says). Staley’s decision partly stems from the fact that she is closer to retirement, so succession issues are on her mind, but she also says there was an enticement of being partner at a giant firm and adding to Beacon Pointe’s investment brain trust.
TPW now has four people, but will expand under the Beacon Pointe name. Mathers formally joined TPW six weeks ago. “Chitra and I started our conversations in January,” Mathers says. Beacon Pointe was attractive to him because of all the power it could offer TPW’s existing clients. “I spent a lot of time with Matt [in California]. I was impressed by who they are as people but also ... they are growing. They’re a very young organization and they seem to be on the cutting edge of most things, whether it’s technology, investment platform and marketing.”