Two high-profile RIA industry personalities are combining forces in the San Francisco Bay area. West Coast-based wealth management firm Private Ocean, headed by Greg Friedman, today announced that it has acquired Mosaic Financial Partners, Inc., a San Francisco-based registered investment advisory with $620 million in assets under management, headed by Norm Boone. Friedman recently won RIA CEO of the Year in Wealth Management.com’s Annual Industry Awards.
Once the merger is complete Oct. 1, Private Ocean will have $2.2 billion in client assets. The Mosaic name will go away.
The two men are well-known in the industry, not only for their long careers as RIAs, but also having co-founded and sold technology software companies. Friedman co-founded Junxure, the customer relationship management tool, along with his partner Ken Golding, which they recently sold to third-party technology firm AdvisorEngine. Boone co-created IPS AdvisorPro, a cloud-based technology that helps financial advisors develop customized investment policy statements, with his wife Linda Lubitz Boone, and eventually sold it to fi360 in 2013.
Friedman said the acquisition of Mosaic made sense because of a shared focus on financial planning. Both RIAs also have a shared philosophy on investment management and technology.
“We put a lot of effort into investment management but we start with planning,” said Friedman. “And if you look at our technology stack you will find about 80 percent alignment in what we use.”
For example, both firms have standardized on the Junxure CRM system.
While both men said they had no agenda or formal plan for growing into national firms, additional acquisitions and mergers are under consideration.
“We are still looking to grow through acquisitions but we remain in only the very early stages of that; we are having multiple conversations with firms that are thoughtfully aligned,” Friedman said.
The acquisition has conveniently filled a need for Boone too, in the form of a formal succession plan. He is considering retiring in 3 years or so, and while an informal plan within Mosaic had been discussed in years prior, it had not come to fruition.
He also expects the acquisition to help Mosaic grow its existing offices.
“We have an office of three based in Walnut Creek,” Boone said, located about 30 miles east of San Francisco, which is where the firm’s main office is located. “I’d like to see us make some hires into that office to help it grow, and we think there is opportunity there.”
Friedman added that if they wanted to simply grow assets, he could have acquired or merged with many other firms over the years, firms he had gotten to know and worked with, mainly through Junxure.
“That is not what we are about, we really want to maintain the culture we have and share with Mosaic, and only grow through organic alignment,” Friedman said.