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Constellation Stakes Perigon Wealth

Karl Heckenberg’s new RIA investment firm has taken a minority stake in Perigon, as Merchant Investment Management exits.

Constellation Wealth Capital, a new capital investment firm created by former Emigrant Partners CEO Karl Heckenberg last year to invest in growing registered investment advisory firms, has announced its second partnership, taking a minority stake in Perigon Wealth Management. Merchant Investment Management, a merchant banking firm serving the financial services industry, will exit its minority investment in Perigon after a five-year partnership that saw the RIA grow assets by 333%, from around $1.8 billion in mid-2020.

Perigon, a Bay Area firm currently overseeing more than $6.5 billion for some 3,500 clients, is majority owned by its advisors and led by CEO Arthur Ambarik. In addition to financial planning, asset management and family office services for wealthy individuals and households, the firm offers retirement plan consulting for sponsors and a platform for affiliated advisors.

The capital provided through the Constellation partnership will support continued growth as Perigon pursues both organic and inorganic growth strategies on its mission to build a national firm. Founded in 2004, Perigon began recruiting independent advisors as tuck-ins to its platform in 2017 and completed its first acquisition in 2020. The firm has since completed several M&A transactions and forged a “strategic alliance” with an international tax advisory firm.

“We believe Perigon's model of supporting financial advisors with flexible affiliation models and compelling platforms, solutions and technology, results in advisors who are better positioned to drive growth and deliver for their clients,” Heckenberg said in a statement.

"Constellation has quickly established a reputation for working collaboratively with operational leadership,” said Ambarik, in a statement. “This investment positions our firm and clients for continued success as a sustainable, majority advisor-owned, client- and advisor-centric firm.”

The investment is the second announced by Chicago-based Constellation. In early December, just days after launching its website, the firm said it had invested in AlphaCore Wealth Advisory, a La Jolla, Calif.-based, alternatives-focused RIA managing $2.6 billion.

Generally preferring to remain invested for the long-term, Executive Chairman Marc Spilker said Merchant is fully supportive when any of its partners elect to go in a different direction, something that has happened just three times since the firm was founded in 2016.

“When you do things that work really well, the market wants to buy the winners,” he said. “And when you have exceptional growers like Perigon, they’re going to garner outsized attention.

“It’s a really great statement about our ecosystem.”

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