A conversation with Mark Copeland, Founder, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors (SEIA) & Ben Prigal, Vice President of Reverence Capital Partners
Mark Copeland, Founder of Signature Estate & Investment Advisors (SEIA) and Ben Prigal, Vice President of Reverence Capital Partners, discuss the value of partnership between private equity and RIAs. SEIA built a $19B practice organically and got it “right” before considering acquisitions and inorganic growth. Plus, this top private equity executive discusses practice valuation, what sets apart the most valuable firms, and why private equity loves investing in the wealth management space. It’s an episode that demonstrates yet another way that advisors can unlock the value of the businesses they built. Whether you’re currently a wirehouse advisor, an RIA owner, or anything in between, you’ll learn first-hand the value of a strong capital backer and strategic partner.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed by the guests on this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Diamond Consultants. Neither Diamond Consultants nor the guests on this podcast are compensated in any way for their participation.
About this episode…
Why should an advisor who is not actively considering a sale or capital partner care about private equity in the RIA space? Because, like it or not, private equity is here to stay. It’s not merely some trend or fad: it represents a paradigm shift in the industry that will shape the growth (and consolidation) of wealth management firms for years to come.
Unsurprisingly, the independent space has become a treasure trove for private equity firms—and for several good reasons.
- RIAs and private equity firms share a common goal: A focus on growth.
- RIAs are a great investment: They have high profit margins, consistent cash flow, and low capital needs.
- And ideally, private equity firms and the RIAs they invest in tend to work in partnership: A real value-add for the RIAs, which can benefit from the expanded business knowledge these firms bring to the table.
In the case of Signature Estate & Investment Advisors (or SEIA), the $19B RIA firm headquartered in Los Angeles and with offices across the country, their growth was attributed almost solely to organic means ever since their founding in 1997. Yet their vision was to expand via inorganic growth and attract other like-minded advisors to become a part of their extraordinary firm.
That’s where private equity firm Reverence Capital Partners came in. Focused on investing in the financial services space, they see their relationships as strategic partnerships designed to foster growth.
While some independent firm owners still bristle at the thought of selling a piece of their business, Mark Copeland, founding partner of SEIA, sees it much differently, as he discusses in this episode.
In Reverence Capital, he saw a partner with a shared vision and the capital that would allow them to focus on achieving their vision for SEIA.
Likewise, Ben Prigal, Vice President at PE firm Reverence Capital, offers a similar perspective. In SEIA, they saw a partner with an outstanding business, a strong management team, and substantial growth opportunities.
Together, they share both sides of the capital partnership story on this special episode with Louis Diamond, including:
- SEIA’s vision—and they identified Reverence as the right partner to achieve their goals.
- Growth and succession strategies—and how a private equity firm’s investment can benefit an RIA.
- Looking beyond capital—and how a private equity firm can provide additional value to the independent firm.
- Identifying the right partners—and how both an RIA and private equity firm view a good fit.
The episode provides two interesting perspectives on achieving growth and offers valuable advice on deciding when or if selling a portion of the business is the right path to take.
Want to learn more about where, why, and how advisors like you are moving? Email [email protected] or feel free to give us a call at 908-879-1002.
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Ben Prigal is an investment professional at Reverence Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on the financial services industry. Reverence Capital Partners has invested over $8.0 billion across its funds, co-investment vehicles and investment partners. Over the course of his career, Mr. Prigal has been an active advisor and investor in wealth and asset management and is currently on the Board of Signature Estate & Investment Advisors (SEIA).
Prior to Reverence, Mr. Prigal worked at Broadhaven Capital Partners as a Vice President, focusing primarily on the asset and wealth management and financial technology sectors. Prior to that, Mr. Prigal worked in the investment banking division at Wells Fargo Securities. He currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife and two daughters.
Mr. Prigal earned a BS in Finance and BA in Economics from The Pennsylvania State University.
Mark E. Copeland, CFP®, AIF®, is a Founding Partner in Signature Estate & Investment Advisors. He is one of SEIA’s four founding partners who have shared over two decades of teamwork together. Mr. Copeland’s emphasis is Investment Planning and Wealth Management with affluent individuals, athletes, and corporations. Currently, he is a licensed independent insurance broker and Partner with Signature Comprehensive Insurance Services, LLC (SCIS).
Since 1988, Mr. Copeland has been in the securities and insurance business. His current memberships include the International Board of Certified Financial Planners and the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors. He currently resides in Orange County, California with his wife and four children.
Mr. Copeland received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., having completed the CFP® professional education program through the College of Financial Planning in 1993. He is also a licensed insurance agent (CA Insurance Lic. #0750414).