Lucia Capital has begun its expansion-through-acquisitions program that was announced when Derek Bruton joined the firm as CEO in July after leaving LPL Financial. The firm announced Thursday it is acquiring the client relationships of West Coast Asset Management (WCAM) based in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Lucia Capital, based in San Diego, is a family of companies in the wealth advice and asset management space with 17 offices and 70 employees nationwide. Through its affiliates and subsidiaries, Lucia Capital Group oversees $2.3 billion in client assets.

WCAM brings $170 million to the partnership. The terms of the deal were not released other than that it was a self-financed, cash deal. As part of the agreement, two WCAM executives are joining Lucia Capital. Lance Helfert, president of WCAM, will join Lucia Capital as a senior vice president, and WCAM’s CIO, Atticus Lowe, will join Lucia Capital’s research and investment management group.

WCAM is an independent registered investment advisor focused on providing equity, fixed-income and alternative asset management services to high-net-worth investors including individuals, institutions, retirement plans and charitable foundations. The typical client has between $2 million and $5 million in investable assets, Helfert says.

Lucia Capital is purchasing the managed equity and fixed-income accounts of WCAM, which will operate under the Lucia name. Some business aspects will remain under the WCAM name.

“WCAM has a clear value proposition in the market and a strong history of offering elite asset management solutions and superior client service,” says Bruton. “This is an exciting day because it is part of the plans we laid out when I joined the firm in July.

“This is a multi-year plan for Lucia to grow organically, through acquisitions and through recruiting,” he says. The firm does not have a goal for its growth, but has already identified some more potential acquisitions, Bruton says. The first acquisition will help expand the firm’s presence in Southern California, and the addition of Lowe helps fulfill Lucia’s commitment to building its research team.

“WCAM has been approached a number of times because of our location and our high-net-worth client base. Lucia can help us provide multiple services to our clients,” Helfert says.

“Lucia Capital is recognized within the independent wealth and asset management spaces as a firm with a clear value proposition for advisors and end clients alike, led by a strong management team and staff,” says Helfert.

“This transaction with West Coast Asset Management is just the beginning of a focused acquisition strategy for Lucia Capital. Going forward, we will continue to aggressively explore acquisition opportunities with other independent firms,” Bruton says.