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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

EP Wealth Acquires $1 Billion Management Firm

EP Wealth Advisors, a Torrance-based registered investment adviser, or RIA, has acquired Salt Lake City-based Insight Group Inc. and Financial Insight Center. The deal, which EP says will add more than $1 billion to assets under management, is EP’s largest acquisition since its 1999 founding. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

EP provides what its leadership calls “family office-like” wealth management services to clients with $500,000 to $100 million in assets. 

The firm has grown rapidly in recent years, according to its leadership, more than tripling its assets under management from $2.7 billion in 2017 to approximately $9 billion today.

EP got its start as Premier Financial Management, a two-person office in West Los Angeles founded by childhood friends in their mid-20s.

“We didn’t really have any clients or a marketing budget,” said EP co-founder and Managing Director Brian Parker. “We did seminars in the library, some cold calling.”
“I wish there was some magic method,” he added, “but a lot of our successes, we just outworked everyone.”

By 2004, Premier Financial attracted the attention of another local wealth manager who was looking for someone to take over her clients. The groups merged to form Enright Premier Wealth Advisors, later rebranded as EP. At the time, the combined businesses had less than $200 million in assets under management, according to Parker. 

When the firm hit $1 billion in assets under management seven years later, Parker and his partner Derek Holman took the unusual step of hiring leadership above them to manage the broader affairs of the business. 

Patrick Goshtigian joined EP as its president at that time, freeing up Parker and Holman to focus on their core wealth management work.

“I often joke that we fired ourselves,” Parker said. “What often happens as a business grows is that the entrepreneur gets taken further and further away from the client and from their original work. … We didn’t want that to happen.”

To date, EP has made 15 acquisitions and grown to 15 offices across the West and Midwest. In addition to eight offices in California, the firm has locations in Arizona, Washington, Illinois, Colorado, Texas and, with the Insights acquisitions, Utah.

Parker said EP intends to continue growing both its range of services and geographic footprint to become a fully national business. EP is on track to reach $10 billion in assets under management by the end of this year, according to Parker, with ongoing 40% to 50% annual growth projected for the foreseeable future.

“The goal has been to be the preeminent RIA in the country,” Parker said. “When you start to see momentum and success, that motivates me even more. … We’re more than 20 years in, and I’ve never been more motivated than I am today.”

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