Aspiriant takes over second California RIA in 90 days

Large advisory firm is looking to spread its wings even further in Los Angeles, a city its CEO says has relatively few independent financial advisers given its size

Feb 17, 2016 @ 6:00 am

By Liz Skinner

Los Angeles-based RIA Aspiriant is taking over another local registered investment adviser with about $360 million in assets under management, its second deal since it swallowed Deloitte Investment Advisors, part of accounting firm Deloitte, in 2010.

Under the terms of the deal, Michael Glowacki, principal of The Glowacki Group, will receive ownership shares in Aspiriant in exchange for the firm's assets. The value of those shares were not disclosed.

Aspirant took over a San Diego firm with $570 million in AUM and 12 employees at the end of last year. That deal made the five principals of that practice, Hokanson Associates, partners in Aspiriant.

It was the first merger Aspiriant completed after taking years to integrate the assets of Deloitte, and upgrading its systems and processes to prepare for growth.

Aspiriant has more than $9 billion in AUM and 1,300 clients, and wants to boost its presence in the nation's second most populous city after New York. Rob Francais, Aspiriant's chief executive, said Los Angeles has relatively few independent financial advisers, given its size. About 13 million people live in the Los Angeles metro area.

“For as large a high-net-worth opportunity there is in L.A., there aren't a lot of RIAs,” Mr. Francais said. “It's a market with many single family offices and business managers who take care of clients' financial affairs and hook them up with a wirehouse adviser for investing.”

Following the most recent transaction, Aspiriant will have 52 principals.

(More: Aspiriant's CEO gives others the space to make mistakes)

Mr. Glowacki, 59, is a certified public accountant and started his firm in 1998. It now provides professional coaching and counsel in addition to wealth management services, an expertise Mr. Francais plans to tap for some existing clients of the firm.

Apiriant's other California offices are in San Francisco, San Diego and Irvine, and it has locations in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

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