03 Oct Tim White of Kaye/Bassman Quoted in FundFire Article, Revived as RIA, Robertson Shapes Product Menu
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Tim White of Kaye/Bassman Quoted in FundFire Article, Revived as RIA, Robertson Shapes Product Menu
Dallas, Texas, 10/3/2013:
By Tom Stabile, Published on FundFire
Just six months into its second life, the reincarnated Robertson Stephens Asset Management is onboarding its first advisors and mapping out a product menu that will include separately managed accounts and alternative investments for a high-net-worth client base.
The San Francisco-based outfit, which is stressing its fee-based independent registered investment advisor (RIA) business, is also in negotiations to hire national institutional investment consulting firms to aid its manager due diligence effort.
As it revives the brand name of a brokerage that FleetBoston shuttered in 2002, the new shop expects to have more than $1 billion in client assets and a half dozen advisors by year’s end, says Joe Piazza, chairman and CEO of the Robertson Stephens Partners parent firm, which will also run a Robertson Stephens Securities brokerage. It already has hired several members of the old leadership team to reprise their former roles, including Robin Nakao, COO and CFO; Amy DeTolla, managing director of client services; and Ron Guidi, managing director of operations and chief compliance officer.
“They all left their prior firms and rejoined the band,” says Piazza, who himself had led the wealth management arm of Robertson Stephens, a high-flying investment bank that rose with the dot-com bubble of the 1990s but fell just as quickly after that market’s bust. “And now we have several advisors – one who joined in June, one in July, one a couple of days ago, and more to join in October and November.”
Piazza says he expects to keep adding assets through the first quarter, with a focus on hiring advisors who have around $400 million in client assets. The firm’s target client is in the $10 million to $100 million range.
Though the investment bank had been around for several decades, the prior Robertson brokerage only existed as a legal entity from 1997 to 2003, a short lifespan during which it peaked at 100 advisors and $40 billion in assets. FleetBoston closed the entire operation, including the brokerage, after failing to find a buyer in 2002.
Getting back to its past heights is the new firm’s goal, Piazza says.
“Ultimately, we’re going to get back to where we started,” he says. “I think we can get to $40 billion again. It doesn’t take an army to get to that number.”
The firm is also aiming beyond its Bay Area home base, looking to open offices in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Austin, Texas, partially because of interest expressed by advisors in those cities, Piazza says.
For some, the Robertson name still has some of its former glow. “It’s a tremendous brand,” says Tim White, managing partner at Kaye/Bassman International, a Dallas-based recruiting firm. “But having the senior management that was part of the organization initially is the most important factor. Without that, the opportunity of it being successful is diminished.”
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Founded in 1981, Kaye/Bassman has grown to become the largest single-site executive search and recruitment firm in the United States with the simple mission of impacting companies and enhancing careers by providing the finest in professional, executive, technical and scientific search. Kaye/Bassman provides strategic recruiting and executive search solutions in over 20 industry practice areas including construction recruiting, healthcare recruiting, banking executive search, energy recruitment and many more. Next Level Recruiting Training, a recruiting training organization, Next Level Exchange, a recruiting training best practices information exchange, and Next Level Marketing Communications are also Kaye/Bassman companies.
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