Miracle Mile Advisors, a Los Angeles-based RIA with $4.5 billion in client assets, has hired industry veteran Bruce Milam to be its first chief executive officer.

Milam said his goal is to “be a boost to an already strong firm.” 

Launched in 2007, Miracle Mile is an independent RIA that offers high-net-worth clients customized, holistic wealth management services, according to a press release.. Up until now, it has been run by a team made up of its founding advisors and the principals of its partners. This team will continue to be involved, but Milam will now spearhead the firm’s continued growth, the firm said.

“What I bring to the table is my experience with the successful growth of a firm of this size,” he said.

For most of the past decade, Milam was at Freestone Capital Management in Seattle, where he served as chief operating officer. During his tenure, Freestone Capital tripled its assets under management to nearly $9 billion.

Before Freestone, Milam served more than eight years as a director at HBK Capital Management, a unit of HBK Investments, the global alternative investment management firm based in Dallas, where he helped build out the firm’s operations and technology infrastructure.

“Bringing aboard a wealth management industry leader of Bruce’s caliber is just the beginning of the next phase of our firm’s vision,” said Duncan Rolph, the firm’s managing partner, in a prepared statement.

In an interview, Milam said, “This is the right time for Miracle Mile to invest in professional leadership with experience in growing and managing the business. I’m ready for a new challenge at a place where I can translate my success at Freestone onto a new pallet.”

Since 2020, Miracle Mile has completed five acquisitions, including last fall’s merger with San Francisco-based Karp Capital Management, which brought in more than $1 billion of client assets. It received a “significant investment” around the same time from New York-based private equity firm Corsair Capital. It currently has 70 employees.

“I’m very much looking to accelerating our growth trajectory,” Milam said.

He said that trajectory includes keeping up its tradition of organic growth, adding advisors and business-development resources to deepen its market reach—goals that he called “ingrained in our DNA.” Over the next 12 months, the firm will also seek strategic partnerships with CPA firms, insurance carriers and other financial services organizations that are “looking for an established, successful wealth management firm to enhance their client service,” he said.

At the same time, it will actively recruit mergers-and-acquisitions opportunities to expand its national presence, he said. The chief requirement, said Milam, is that these partnerships enhance the firm’s culture and growth mindset. “That will be a heavy part of our process—finding firms we can perfectly team together with,” he said.

The industry has come to understand the value of professional wealth-management leadership, noted Milam, as opposed to the old model of being run by advisor-founders or entrepreneurs, who may be less skilled at continuing to grow the business.

“Miracle Mile’s historic growth is impressive, and the firm has the necessary pieces in place to fuel the next stage of expansion,” Milam said in a press release. “Our firm has a robust infrastructure that will serve as a springboard for scale, bolstered by a strong balance sheet, a talented management team, and a culture of holistic service that places clients at the front and center of all we do.”

With its pool of next-gen talent, Miracle Mile is “positioned to deliver significant value for potential new partners, advisors, and clients seeking an energetic and entrepreneurial organization,” he added. “I could not be more excited about the team that I’m getting to work with every day. The energy here is palpable.”