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Beacon Pointe Ends Year With 6 RIA Buys; 2 in OC

Newport Beach’s Beacon Pointe LLC finished last year with an acquisition spree of six registered independent advisories, including a pair of RIAs in Orange County.

Corona del Mar’s Pacific Edge Advisors, which has $678 million in assets under management, last month joined Beacon Pointe, a wealth management firm that’s quickly grown to more than $20 billion in AUM.

Pacific Edge becomes the third Newport Beach office for Beacon Pointe, which now ranks among the top 8 registered investment advisers based in Orange County by discretionary AUM, according to Business Journal data.

As of mid-2020, Beacon Point ranked 18th with about $3 billion in discretionary AUM.

OCMA Ties

Pacific Edge, which offers family office services for clients of $20 million or more in investable assets, is led by David Emmes and Heidi Benavidez; both have become partners and managing directors at Beacon Pointe.

“Beacon Pointe has spent years building the infrastructure and client resources that we were in the earlier stages of developing,” Benavidez said.

“We felt our best value was to partner with a firm who had already solved for these items, but also remains fully client-focused and dedicated to the highest level of client resources and service.”

Emmes has more than four decades of professional experience, including as U.S. Markets President, West, for BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

Benavidez, who has over two decades of investment advisory and financial services experience, was a senior wealth manager at BNY Mellon.

Emmes, who is the son of South Coast Repertory Artistic Director David Emmes, was a longtime member on the board of the Orange County Museum of Art, where he is now an emeritus trustee. Benavidez will become an active member of the Beacon Pointe Women’s Advisory Institute and currently serves on the Investment Committee of the Girl Scouts of Orange County.

KKR Backing

In November, Beacon Pointe announced a 50% investment from one of Wall Street’s best-known investors, KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR).

At the time that deal was struck, Beacon Pointe said the KKR investment would provide Beacon Pointe with growth capital to continue its national expansion, as well as further investments in technology, personnel and employees’ professional growth.

“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity,” Beacon Pointe co-founder Shannon Eusey told the Business Journal in November.

“We’ll put a beachhead in these areas and tuck in some additional firms into these existing offices.”

Eusey has built Beacon Pointe from a UCLA school paper into the largest female-led registered investment advisory firm in the country.

Busy Period

Over the past 18 months, Beacon Pointe has grown by over $10 billion AUM and has nearly doubled its professional staff to 280 through an acquisition strategy that totaled 14 in 2021. Another one of the late December deals was for Newport Wealth Strategies, an Irvine-based RIA founded by Darin Simonian and which added $385 million AUM.

Eusey said she expects a similar expansion in the coming year.

Beacon Pointe had 28 offices nationwide as of mid-December and some 110 financial advisers.

The firm says it is looking to new metropolitan areas, as well adding wealth managers in areas where it’s already located.

Bahnsen Sings Nashville

In other wealth management news, Newport Beach’s The Bahnsen Group, which manages $3.4 billion in assets, says it’s fourth office will be in the heart of Nashville “to house additional advisory and administrative personnel—entirely new hires”—with no relocations from the company’s current offices that include New York City and Minneapolis.

“This Nashville office is going to be built from the ground up, purely out of our desire to put a flag in the Nashville market,” Managing Partner David Bahnsen said.

“This is one of the most dynamic, growing cities in America.” 

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