United Capital dialed in to different type of asset with Pomeranz buy

Rollup firm acquires much smaller outfit — but lands popular radio show in the process

May 16, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

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United Capital Financial Advisers LLC's latest acquisition is a relatively minor addition in terms of new assets. It could, however, prove to be a crucial piece in the firm's plan to gain national recognition.

United Capital, which has $14 billion in assets, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired Steven L. Pomeranz Financial Management of Boca Raton, Fla. The purchased firm has about $200 million in AUM — puny by United Capital's standards.

But the firm has another asset that United Capital executives prize highly. Owner Steve Pomeranz is the host of a popular weekly radio show called “On the Money.” The show, which is broadcast on around a dozen public and commercial radio stations throughout the country, has a loyal following and has brought customers — along with a fair amount of local celebrity — to Mr. Pomeranz.

United Capital plans to expand the one-hour show to other markets where the company has offices. It also intends to make chief executive Joe Duran a regular guest on the show to share his views on markets and investing.

In addition, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based advisory firm intends to launch its first radio advertising campaign. That campaign is designed to leverage the radio show's influence and help boost United Capital's profile.

“This is one incremental step towards creating a billion dollar brand,” said Matt Brinker, the firm's senior vice president of acquisitions and partner development. “We don't want to be known as a roll-up. We want to be known in the marketplace as a national RIA.”

Although the company has made many acquisitions, the deals are all part of its strategic plan, which includes organic growth as well.

The radio show will also help the company build familiarity with its advice and planning systems: Honest Conversations and the Money Mind Analyzer.

Mr. Pomeranz said that his show, which premiered two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, has helped him build his business.

Over the years, he has interviewed former Federal Reserve governors, authors, and market experts from CNBC and AARP. He plans to begin incorporating information on United Capital's planning systems as well as input from Mr. Duran.

“We do a lot of interviews and personal commentary about investing,” said Mr. Pomeranz. “Our primary focus is to help people wade through all the noise and nonsense that they hear all the time and figure out how to get their financial lives straight.”

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