A former senior leader with E*Trade Advisors is joining Cresset to help build the company’s growth in the RIA space by leading M&A efforts to attract firms and advisory teams to join the $13 billion multifamily office.
Gabriel Garcia joins Cresset as managing director, corporate development. Garcia had served as managing director, head of business management and strategy at E*Trade Advisors for nearly two years, and previously worked at Pershing Advisor Solutions as managing director, head of relationship management and business consulting.
According to Cresset, Garcia will work with attracting “culturally compatible RIAs,” while identifying teams that might want to make the jump to the multifamily office. In an interview with WealthManagement.com, Garcia called the new role a “tremendous” opportunity.
“I’ve known Cresset for years in the industry and have been very impressed with what they’ve done,” he said. “To see a firm about four years old grow to $13 billion, primarily through organic growth, and to contribute to that with some inorganic growth through M&A activity, is very exciting.”
Cresset also hired Matt Mongia as managing director, private capital, to structure and lead investments, with a focus on minority investments in growing RIAs and asset management firms. Mongia was previously at SharpVue Capital, an investment management affiliate of Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina that he co-founded.
When it comes to finding “culturally compatible” RIAs for Cresset, Garcia said he’d be seeking firms committed to a fiduciary business model, as well as those looking to expand the services they offer for clients but find themselves struggling as the industry evolves to meet the needs of a client base that can range from baby boomers with decades of investment background to millennials closer to the start of their wealth accumulation.
“The solution set plays very well in the ultra-high-net-worth spaces, so firms who have complex family wealth and are ultra-high-net-worth; it’s certainly an attribute that lends itself to being more compatible,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s move to Cresset from E*Trade Advisors comes one month after it was announced that Axos Financial was buying the RIA custody business from Morgan Stanley, which acquired E*Trade Advisors as part of its massive 2020 takeover of E*Trade. The $55 million all-cash deal was expected to close in the third quarter of 2021 and brought Axos into the RIA custodian marketplace.
Garcia will work closely with Cresset’s co-founders, including Eric Becker, Avy Stein and Chris Boehm. The Chicago-based firm, founded in 2017, recently attracted a Goldman Sachs alum to help build out its Texas presence to join its offices in West Palm Beach, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver, San Francisco and Reston, Va. In June 2020, the company acquired PagnatoKarp, a former Hightower firm with $2.3 billion in assets.
“This is a committed organization that’s employee-owned with tremendous solutions and services for clients, most notably the uniqueness of some of their investment capabilities, particularly some of the direct investing solutions they can provide to clients,” Garcia said.