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Haas business school professors will orient consolidator's RIAs toward new ways of looking at growth
February 25, 2010 — 5:36 AM UTC by Brooke Southall
Brooke’s Note: United Capital has invited its partner RIA firms from around the country to convene at the Haas School of Business, which is part of the University of California, Berkeley. RIABiz will be there to hear lectures and interview and photograph the RIAs and executives comprising United Capital. Clearly the sessions are not intended as some educational fantasy camp. Joe Duran, CEO of United Capital, sees this as an investment in an important shift at the company toward growing its partner firms. But you don’t start adding partners without some training about how to structure your firm to absorb more talent. The Berkeley professors will lay the groundwork for that process to begin.
I’ve been writing about Joe Duran and his Newport Beach, Calif.-based consolidator, United Capital, for several years but I have never met the leader, his RIAs or his colleagues [like Matt Brinker] in person.
The company is admired by many people in the industry and I look forward to getting a first-hand look. It’s considered a rare example of a roll-up that works. Of course, Duran, United Capital’s CEO, doesn’t consider it a “roll-up” at all. His plan to bring his firms to Berkeley to learn about business management shows, it seems, that he’s putting his money where his mouth is to create a true organization.
A recent letter that Duran distributed explains the company’s ambitious objectives and makes clear what has drawn its principals and executives to the Haas School of Business.
Stopped being a start-up
“This was the year our firm stopped being a start up and we needed to evolve to a more scalable national operating company,” he wrote. “We have laid the groundwork for that to occur; we have fantastic offices around the country with brilliant, dedicated people who genuinely care for our clients and each other. We are building on our ongoing growth strategy for all of the firms that are with us, helping with generating new clients with local and national institutional referral partnerships and by developing a national acquisition strategy into the local offices. Our goal is to establish our partner firms into the dominant market leaders in their respective cities and to help build several $5 to $10 million offices in the next few years.”
Here are a few items to bring you up to speed on United Capital:
It added nine new offices this past year, reaching 21 offices around the country and over 150 employees. Its assets and revenues grew by over 90%.
10 new metro centers
It added another top tier institutional investor — Bessemer Venture Partners — to invest $15 million alongside Grail Partners. “We are expecting to add at least ten new metro centers to our current base of over twenty offices,” Duran writes. “Our goal is also to use the proceeds to help expand our established metro centers via acquisitions.”
The latter objective is largely what is prompting the training in Berkeley.
Mentioned in this article:
United Capital Financial Advisers
RIA Welcoming Breakaways
Top Executive: Joe Duran
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