Wedbush Morgan Securities said Monday it entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Pacific Growth Equities LLC, a San Francisco investment banking and institutional brokerage specializing in emerging growth companies in life science and technology.

The transaction is expected to close next month and marks the third acquisition in six months for Los Angeles-based Wedbush, the largest securities broker-dealer headquartered on the West Coast. The company most recently acquired San Diego brokerage First Wall Street Corp. in November.

Pacific Growth Equities was founded in 1991 and has more than 75 investment banking, sales and trading, and research professionals, substantially all of whom are expected to join Wedbush's Capital Markets Group. Pacific Growth's current management, including Chairman Richard Osgood, and co-chief executives Thomas Dietz and Stephen Massocca, will assume senior leadership roles at Wedbush.

"This is a significant expansion for Wedbush's capital markets business, an important growth area of our firm," said President Edward Wedbush in a statement. "Pacific Growth immediately adds a world-class life science franchise to our equities efforts, a sector we've been seriously eyeing for growth for some time."

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