The former First Allied chief operations officer jumped onboard Derek Bruton’s Lucia Capital Group on Monday as president of the firm’s broker-dealer operations.
Tiy O’Neal, who left First Allied in December, will lead the day-to-day operations of Lucia Securities, which handles the commission-based business of the firm’s 27 advisors. O’Neal will report directly to Bruton in her new role.
“Tiy is another piece in the growing success of the firm,” Bruton says, noting that she will play a major role in the integration of acquired firms and advisors through an in-house transitions team.
O’Neal’s hire kicks the Lucia’s acquisition plans into high gear, Bruton says, noting that the new president will play an integral role in client services, building out the team in terms of client services and staff.
“I am excited to join forces with Lucia Capital Group as the firm embarks upon a new chapter of accelerated growth under a strong leadership team,” O’Neal said in a statement, adding that she is familiar with the firm, having worked with Lucia Capital Chairman Ray Lucia Jr. when his team was one of the top producers at First Allied.
Bruton says the firm plans to complete as many as two to three acquisitions annually over the next 3 to 4 years. Calling the current M&A environment, “a seller’s marketplace,” Bruton acknowledges that the acquisition space is getting more crowded, but says he feels there are still opportunities.
The firm’s sweet spot, Bruton says, is firms that have between $100 million and $1 billion in assets under management, ranging from advisory team tuck-ins, to hybrid advisors looking to phase out, as well as smaller broker/dealers struggling to scale operations.
“We are committed to building out the firm through organic growth, business acquisitions, and investment management distribution in order to become one of the leading financial services companies in the nation, and Tiy will play a vital role in this mission,” Bruton says.