Editor's Note: This story has been updated with additional comments by PCIA CEO Glenn Spencer.
Prime Capital Investment Advisors, a rapidly growing RIA firm with more than $20 billion in client assets, has added Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions as a custodian to provide additional opportunities and services for advisors and clients, with plans to move $1 billion in assets to the custodial platform.
“We believe GSAS’s digital-first, tech-forward approach to custody, combined with their lending and private investment capabilities, will enable us to provide our clients and advisors with resources on par with the largest private bank and wirehouse platforms,” PCIA Managing Director and CIO Scott Duba said in a statement.
Assets the firm anticipates bringing onto the GSAS platform will come from a combination of organic growth, existing assets and planned inorganic activity, Duba said. "PCIA has made this one of its top priorities and, while we cannot predict how quickly the process will unfold, what we can share is that we view GSAS as a key strategic partner going forward."
Goldman Sachs executives say the firm has been an active custody provider since its acquisition of Folio Financial in September 2020 and has onboarded new RIA teams beyond the legacy Folio clients.
In June 2021, Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions scored its first custodial client since the Folio acquisition, hybrid RIA Steward Partners. Late last year, a $1 billion Beverly Hills, Calif.-based breakaway team from Merrill Lynch chose Goldman as its sole custodian. In January of this year, the custodian added a team of advisors led by Margaux Fiori that departed Raymond James’ independent contractor division to launch their own RIA.
In February, a group of founding advisors came together to form United Advisor Group, a new RIA and aggregator, choosing Goldman as its primary custodian.
Some published reports have said that Goldman is lagging behind a deadline it had for the RIA custody service, but Goldman executives said the firm has never publicly expressed any "time line" and there is not likely going to be a ribbon-cutting type of unveiling at any specific date in the future; instead, executives said to expect a quiet, continuous iteration of the service.
In a previous interview with WealthManagement.com, Jeremy Eisenstein, co-head of the RIA custody sales team within GSAS, said the unit has been focused on bringing Goldman’s investment capabilities, including its institutional-level access to alternatives, lending, capital markets and its investment research and insights—to RIAs.
PCIA officially launched in early 2018 with $2.8 billion in client assets, following a management buyout of 30-year-old Lawing Financial by a group of five advisors the year before. After selling a 20% minority stake to private equity firm LNC in the fall of that year to fund growth initiatives, the firm began actively recruiting talented advisors—primarily from the wirehouses. Schwab was the firm’s first custodian and others such as Fidelity and Northern Trust have been added to accommodate incoming recruits and their clients. The addition of Goldman is intended to increase opportunities and access for the firm’s 150-plus advisors and their wealthiest clients.
“We’ve been multi-custodian for the last 3 1/2 years and we’re expanding that,” said PCIA CEO Glenn Spencer. “We see Goldman as a terrific opportunity because they have great brand reputation but, also, their new platform has state-of-art technology, and you get access to a lot of the other Goldman services that are super appealing to the high-net-worth client.”
Spencer said he views the GSAS platform as ideal for PCIA’s higher-net-worth clients and hopes the addition will attract more UHNW teams to the firm.
“We are committed to providing differentiation and choice for advisors, which aligns with PCIA’s philosophy,” said Cooper Rey, head of RIA sales and execution for GSAS. “We’re delighted Prime Capital has put their trust in us, recognizing how our technology, people, and access to Goldman Sachs complements their existing partnerships and enhances their advisor services.”
Today, PCIA comprises three brands: Prime Capital Wealth, its RIA; Qualified Plan Advisors, a retirement plan advisory business serving more than 1,100 retirement plans; and Financial Fitness for Life, a financial education service available to retirement plan sponsors inside and outside of the Qualified Plan network.
Based in Overland Park, Kan., PCIA currently serves more than 10,500 clients across 62 locations nationwide. The firm has been growing organically at a rate of around 12% a year, according to Spencer, and added 43 advisors over the last 18 months alone.
In the spring of 2020, a private, individual investor bought out LNC’s stake and the firm established a credit facility. After recapitalizing in October of the following year, PCIA began offering equity to employees. PCIA employees now hold around 12% of the firm’s equity, along with a handful of smaller private investors, while a fifth is still owned by a private individual and the remainder belongs to firm management.
Spencer said PCIA’s acquisition pipeline is full, with around 15 potential targets, and he doesn’t think it will be a heavy lift to reach $1 billion on the GSAS platform over the next couple of years.
“There’s a handful of them that we have talked to about Goldman potentially being the predominant platform that we would go to,” he said. “We've talked to others that have a high-net-worth segmentation about moving a portion of their assets to Goldman and keeping a portion with their current custodian. We’ve talked with a number of target firms and know that it's appealing to a lot of the high-net-worth teams that are out there.”