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Meet the Winners: LUMINARIES in Dealmaking & Growth, 2021

Oct 27, 2021

X byMichael S. Fischer and Emily Holbrook   Firms Advisor Group’s succession & acquisition team helps buyers and sellers take control of succession planning and M&A. In October 2020, the firm rolled out its Continuity Coverage & Acquisitions program, which provides loan financing from Advisor Group’s own balance sheet for qualified acquirers, and allows advisors to enroll in a turnkey continuity planning program. It helps to identify appropriate partners, structures continuity transactions that will kick in the event of death or disability and provides financing to make the transition as seamless as possible. In 2020, the team facilitated 153 succession planning-driven deals and put in place 376 written and actionable continuity plans. Atria Wealth Solutions, over the past 18 months, has taken part in multiple transactions and recruiting additions to grow its business and service offerings. Recently, it recruited the $2 billion Cedar Brook Group, which expanded Atria’s network of financial professionals to 2,500. In April, Atria acquired SCF Securities, making it the second broker-dealer acquisition within 12 months and sixth overall to join Atria since its founding in 2017. One of the tools available to those who join the network is Atria’s platform Unio, which includes features such as business texting, CRM, business analytics, streamlined account opening, fee-based solutions and personalized dashboards. Beacon Pointe Advisors, after a slow period in 2020, increased its M&A dramatically. In March 2020, Abry Partners become a minority owner, allowing Beacon Pointe to recapitalize and focus on increasing the number of acquisitions and varying deal structures in the RIA marketplace. Starting in November, it has been on a tear, with acquisitions in marketplace hot spots that continued into late summer. Its biggest one to date is $1.3 billion for Wealthstreet Investment Advisors in Dallas. Beacon Pointe’s dealmaking approach is multifaceted, focusing first on qualitative factors, then on a study of the industry landscape and constant evolution of financial services trends. Blaylock Van, an 81% Black-owned investment banking firm with a diverse employee base, has gained success in the last year as more U.S. companies and municipalities recognize the value of doing business with diverse business enterprises. The firm has helped investment managers, pension funds and companies gain diversity exposure through the inclusion of Black- and women-owned firms. Blaylock Van served as one of four Black-owned firms to lead manage a recent Citibank $2.5 billion bond issuance and has also taken part in recent deals with companies including Alphabet, Apple, AT&T, Bristol Myers, Comcast, Nasdaq, Toyota Motor Credit and Wells Fargo. CI Financial, one of Canada’s biggest asset and wealth managers, has carved out a significant presence in the U.S. through an aggressive but tactical series of acquisitions. Over 17 months, CI has acquired 18 firms (including sub-acquisitions) so far, totaling $63 billion. The CI team makes an acquisition mutually advantageous for itself, for the acquired firm and for clients by providing ample support to RIAs, enabling their continued growth and a broadened tool kit for servicing clients’ needs. Even as it moves into the acquisition realm, it adapts its pace to what is most comfortable for each acquired firm with respect to branding and integration. Hightower Advisors has shifted its business model to focus on RIA acquisitions. Hightower’s M&A strategy identifies and invests in advisory businesses and provides them with comprehensive acceleration services to supercharge their growth. The M&A team seeks out successful RIAs and groups from independent broker-dealers, with management teams that have a strong orientation to growth, a collaborative spirit, a willingness to drive themselves forward and a strong second generation of leaders. As a result, Hightower has accelerated its dealmaking in the past 18 months, facilitating 12 M&A transactions — two internal tuck-ins for Hightower businesses and several multibillion-dollar external acquisitions. LPL Financial has entered into multiple strategic deals in the last 18 months with large institutions, small broker-dealers, technology providers, competing wealth management firms, advisor recruiting and advisor M&A. The acquisitions of Waddell and Reed’s wealth management business, M&T Bank’s retail brokerage and advisory business, and BMO Harris Financial Advisors propelled LPL’s assets under management past the $1 trillion mark. An important part of these successful acquisitions was the 98.1% retention rate of onboarded advisors and employees. Through investments back into the business and a mission-aligned workforce committed to advisor success, advisor satisfaction increased by some 60 points over three years. Sanctuary Wealth, since its founding by former Merrill Lynch executives in 2018, has become a major platform for wealth managers who want to own, operate and grow their businesses while having access to economies of scale afforded by wirehouses and other traditional platforms. The firm is also a dealmaker, its largest a long-term strategic alliance with the European asset manager Azimut Group done last November, which gives it a competitive advantage in recruiting top advisors worldwide. Sanctuary Global also serves the Latin American market, having made deals to open offices throughout the region, in addition to establishing a headquarters office in Miami. Vestwell redefines 401(k) offerings for advisors and their clients, serving as the underlying engine that powers workplace savings programs. Vestwell built its API-driven, flexible solution to support players across the retirement plan ecosystem. A recent partnership combines Franklin Templeton’s proprietary Goals Optimization Engine methodology with Vestwell’s record-keeping infrastructure to create an entirely digital, open-architecture and cost-effective managed account solution. Living natively in Vestwell’s platform, it can automatically enroll participants into a personalized investment strategy. Vestwell also partnered with Bank of NY Mellon to create a platform that will bring modern solutions to state-sponsored retirement plans. It is also fully integrated with some 20 payroll providers, including QuickBooks. Individuals Brandon Kawal, principal, Advisor Growth Strategies, leads client engagements, thought leadership and research for the firm, as well as leads research and writes The RIA Deal Room as a free educational resource for firms to evaluate and understand their M&A options. The study leverages actual transaction data to highlight changing dynamics within the RIA M&A landscape, debunk misconceptions about deal mechanics and track industry trends. It includes data-driven analysis on trends in valuations and deal structure, buyer and seller perspectives on entering the market and the future implications of the shifts in RIA M&A, including the pressures of scale and succession. Matthew Cooper, president, Beacon Pointe Advisors, is the driving force behind the firm’s M&A team, which completes acquisitions with partner offices that are focused on creating synergies, value and growth and certainty for business owners, their clients and staff. In March 2020, he oversaw the strategic integration of Abry Partners’ minority stake in Beacon Pointe, which enabled the firm to recapitalize and pursue an increased number of acquisitions. In recent months, he has completed seven acquisitions, including $1.3 billion Wealthstreet Investment Advisors in Dallas. Cooper shares his knowledge of the RIA M&A space by participating in industry panels and forums. Scott Holsopple, chief growth officer for Hightower Advisors, joined the firm in February 2020 and oversees the M&A process. During his tenure, he has overseen and facilitated 12 M&A transactions, from two internal tuck-ins for Hightower businesses to the $8 billion acquisition of Bel Air Investment Advisors in January 2021. Nine transactions in 2020 increased Hightower’s assets under management by 39% year over year. He also oversees initiatives such as Hightower Center for Leadership, a two-year education and training certificate program designed to empower and engage the next generation of advisory businesses leaders and the Advisor Growth Series, a 20-week program for growth-minded advisors. Kristin P. Bauer, CEO, Laird Norton Wealth Management within her first seven months at the firm, restarted, led and closed a merger with Filament LLC that had been on hold, creating a Pacific Northwest wealth management firm that manages $6 billion in assets for some 800 clients across the country. Having joined the firm at the pandemic’s onset, she met by phone or video with every employee, revamped an online client education campaign and built partnerships with nationally recognized organizations to keep clients engaged in critical conversations, including with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on coronavirus research and vaccine development and others. Dan Arnold is president & CEO of LPL Financial. Under his leadership, LPL has undergone a cultural and digital transformation that has created a mission-aligned and empowered workforce, an agile environment that nurtures innovation and value creation, and a modernized operating platform that is flexible and scalable, giving LPL the ability to act nimbly, scale quickly and personalize the experiences with its clients. During Arnold’s tenure, assets under management have doubled, surpassing $1 trillion as of April 30, and earning the firm a spot on the Fortune 500 for the first time. In 2020, LPL reported record revenue of $5.9 billion. David Paul Grau Jr., president of Succession Resource Group, pioneered the “merger acquisition” structure, which has become many advisors’ standard exit strategy. This allows advisors to sell their businesses and continue to work with their acquirer for several years. He also was involved in creating the industry’s newest digital portal to access lenders through Lending-Well.com. Most recently, he worked with major industry lenders to create a deal structure/model that leverages unused escrow, allowing a borrower to obtain 100% financing without giving all of the proceeds to the seller at closing, thus creating contingencies on the deal to maximize value and control the seller’s recognition of income. Products, Programs & Services – Asset Management/ Portfolio Firms BNY Mellon | Pershing has introduced innovative digital tools to better service investors and increase efficiency. The firm’s digital authorization provides advisors a way to request an asset movement and enables investors to digitally approve the transaction immediately. Investors can quickly and securely receive requests, authenticate and digitally approve or reject a money movement transaction in real-time using biometrics, going a step beyond eSignature. Also, Pershing’s Site Builder provides firms access to a robust website configuration tool to build their uniquely configured and fully branded websites. The tool will enable firms, offices and advisors to write, edit, approve and launch their own sites without Pershing involvement. Hamilton Lane In 2016, Hamilton Lane partnered with a technology company to create Cobalt LP, investing balance sheet capital into the partnership and building an internal team to help manage the business. In 2020, the firm wholly acquired the Cobalt business, which offers enhanced portfolio monitoring, benchmarking, diligence and forecasting on a single platform. The solution combines multiple leading sources of information and proprietary Hamilton Lane analytics. It enables teams to serve clients more efficiently, cutting turnaround time on requests and quarterly reporting. As of May 2021, the teams have run some 350,000 analytics projects on the platform for more than 700 firm clients and investors. Macquarie Investment Management’s Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund, in partnership with Wilshire Associates, provides the mass affluent market with broad, diversified private markets exposure in one comprehensive solution. The product encompasses the traditional features of a tender fund and alleviates typical barriers to entry with low minimums, modest flat fees, accredited investor eligibility and 1099 tax reporting. One fund feature provides shareholders an option to sell their shares monthly and does not need to retain significant amounts of cash to meet redemptions. Thus, cash to work through investments in the portfolio, ultimately helping to reduce cash drag and improving overall portfolio return potential over time. Products, Programs & Services – Other American Portfolios Financial Services put the Going Paperless Initiative into place to ensure the company’s future growth and success through sustainable business practices. The initiative improves the e-delivery of documents and helps investors avoid paying statement and confirm-fee charges for paper statements and other mailings. In 2020, the firm enhanced its AP Advisory Platform that provides a single interface to access and manage third-party-managed and rep-directed accounts on certain programs that default-set new accounts for going paperless. Since its rollout, AP’s Going Paperless initiative has seen a reduction in investor paper mailings move from 17% at year-end 2018 to 44% in March 2021. LPL Financial in 2021 launched M&A Solutions that simplified the M&A process for advisors, helping them execute their growth and acquisition strategies and monetize their business. The time to complete most transactions was reduced from six to nine months to about 60 to 90 days. New features include a seller support program designed to facilitate the sale of an advisor’s practice. M&A Deal Support provides tools and resources for advisors interested in growing through acquisition, with resources such as current deal trends and buyer development techniques to support advisors’ goal of enhancing their buyer acumen and readying their practices for future acquisitions. SS&C Advent partnered with DPL Financial Partners in 2020 to build the Advent Insurance Marketplace, which gives fiduciary advisors direct integrated access to commission-free annuities, life insurance, long-term personal care and disability offerings. Enhanced reporting of insurance holdings can be automatically pulled into a firm’s respective SS&C Advent platform from the Marketplace using the Advent Custodial Data feed. This allows advisors to provide clients with comprehensive insight into their complete financial picture that reflects a full reconciliation of accounts, including position and transaction data and fee calculations. In June, Marketplace was released into Black Diamond’s Client View application, the platform’s command center for advisors. Products, Programs & Services – Partnerships and Consulting Groups Advisor Legacy over the past two years has completed some 400 valuations, closed three dozen deals and developed more than 25 continuity plans. This year, it enhanced valuations through its Maxval Predictor tool, which helps solve the challenge of when to sell a practice. The tool provides a graphic representation of value over time, demonstrating a growth scenario and one where a practice stops growing. This makes it easy to pinpoint the best time to sell a practice and time an advisor’s retirement for maximum return. The firm also has presented more than 40 webinars, including those on the pandemic’s effects on practice values and M&A. LendingWell matches advisors with financing solutions needed to achieve business goals, helping them access and filter the growing list of industry lenders now available. The platform eliminates middlemen, and its proprietary algorithm saves advisors time by providing them with specifically matched lenders based on each lender’s unique profile and the user’s defined search criteria. LendingWell keeps current on industry lending trends and adds new lenders to expand lending options. Transactions include acquisitions, succession, partial equity buy-in/out, working capital, forgivable loan refinance and corporate real estate. Since its launch in 2020, the site has already had more than 1,000 users and upward of 400 loan requests. PPC LOAN, founded in 1998, lends money to service sector cash-flow-based businesses. It developed the first dedicated financing program to advisors and has been a consistent source of capital for acquisitions, mergers, buy-ins/buy-outs, equity purchases, successions plans, business debt refinances/consolidations, working capital and lines of credit. Today, the firm helps level the playing field for small advisory practices that otherwise would not have access to capital or the ability to compete with large “aggregator” firms. It also provides next-generation leadership with loan options that let them facilitate phased internal successions. And it supports buyers’ needs to provide larger down payments to sellers. Succession Resources Group, in 2020, put together a four-part free webinar series to assist advisors who are actively looking to grow inorganically, but who have limited or no acquisition experience. The AUM Accelerator Series provides next-generation advisors with the tools and resources to grow their businesses and effect a smooth and orderly transition when they exit the business. The rollout of the series was timely, as the advisor industry continues to gray and succession planning lags. Tax code changes loom and compliance and reliance on technology are increasing. Succession Resources wants as many well-educated and savvy buyers as possible for the wave of advisor-retirees. Products, Programs & Services – RIAs Hightower, in the last 18 months, has grown its M&A team significantly, hiring Scott Holsopple as chief growth officer in February 2020 and subsequently building out his department team that is focused on the full range of M&A functions. The firm’s M&A capabilities include digital storyboards created using the publishing platform Readz, and feature a sleek, interactive user interface with video capabilities. They enable the firm to give potential RIA partners a taste of how and why Hightower’s comprehensive support, guidance and service translates into better growth, client retention, referrals and employee satisfaction — personalized to cover their specific areas of interest. Proteus, an RIA, introduced a set of model portfolios to its platform lineup of more than 40 alternative investment funds. It provides qualified purchasers and accredited investors an opportunity to access a curated set of institutional-quality private equity, private credit, real assets and hedge funds for a minimum investment of $250,000. Proteus and its research partner Callan Associates created portfolios in conservative, moderate and aggressive versions. An accredited investor now can gain exposure to a diversified alternative investment model portfolio of up to 18 institutional-quality funds that would otherwise require tens of millions of dollars to access by investing directly with the underlying fund manager. Robertson Stephens has created and implemented a robust transition support program for incoming advisor teams. The firm handles the transition process in three phases: 1) Robertson Stephens and the new advisor team conduct and complete an investments review and operational due diligence, 2) the firm integrates the new wealth manager’s capabilities and workflows into its platform and business functions and 3) client assets are completely transitioned and all account paperwork completed. In the last 12 months, Robertson Stephens completed three advisor transitions with an average of 97% client conversation rate, and $425 million in assets transitioned with 530 accounts. More on this topic Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided. We’re pleased to present the first Dealmaking & Growth winners of our new, pioneering recognition program: the LUMINARIES. Members of the Class of 2021 are being honored for the dynamic efforts they lead that are driving the financial services industry forward. “Why are we doing what we’re doing? Why are we doing it that way? How can we be doing it better? What are we not doing that we need to do? What is — or what might be — coming, and what must we do to prepare?” asked Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines and a LUMINARIES Class of 2021 judge. An evolution of our Broker-Dealers of the Year awards, the LUMINARIES program shines a spotlight on how the top-performing industry participants are producing meaningful results in the areas that matter most to advisors​, such as Executive Leadership. Members of the Class of 2021 LUMINARIES were selected by a distinguished and diverse panel of judges from across the advice industry, as well by our editorial team. Their stories will be told in print and online via features, interviews, podcasts and other coverage, and on stage at the program’s inaugural awards dinner — set to take place Nov. 9 at the Mandarin Oriental in New York. The following types of organizations are being honored for their Dealmaking/Growth programs:  Asset/portfolio management firms

Robertson Stephens Investments

64 Investments

Robertson Stephens has made 64 investments. Their latest investment was in Ubicom as part of their Unattributed VC - V on November 11, 2010.

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Robertson Stephens Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

11/10/2010

Unattributed VC - V

Ubicom

$6.9M

No

3/17/2010

Unattributed VC - IV

Ubicom

$1.8M

No

4/23/2004

Series B

Solid Information Technology Corporation

$13.9M

Yes

5/13/2003

Unattributed VC - IV

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$99M

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10

5/22/2001

Series C

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$99M

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10

Date

11/10/2010

3/17/2010

4/23/2004

5/13/2003

5/22/2001

Round

Unattributed VC - V

Unattributed VC - IV

Series B

Unattributed VC - IV

Series C

Company

Ubicom

Ubicom

Solid Information Technology Corporation

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Amount

$6.9M

$1.8M

$13.9M

$99M

$99M

New?

No

No

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

10

10

Robertson Stephens Portfolio Exits

35 Portfolio Exits

Robertson Stephens has 35 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was Ubicom on April 02, 2012.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

4/2/2012

Acquired

1

10/20/2010

Merger

1

7/15/2010

Acquired

00/00/0000

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10

00/00/0000

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$991

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10

Date

4/2/2012

10/20/2010

7/15/2010

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Exit

Acquired

Merger

Acquired

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Companies

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Valuation

$991

Acquirer

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Sources

1

1

10

10

Robertson Stephens Partners & Customers

2 Partners and customers

Robertson Stephens has 2 strategic partners and customers. Robertson Stephens recently partnered with StratiFi on February 2, 2021.

Date

Type

Business Partner

Country

News Snippet

Sources

2/18/2021

Licensor

StratiFi

United States

February 18, 2021 10:02 AM Eastern Standard Time. Robertson Stephens and StratiFi Technologies Announce New Partnership.

SAN FRANCISCO -- -- StratiFi Technologies , developer of award-winning PRISM Rating ™ technology for financial advisors , and Robertson Stephens have announced a new partnership to create a more holistic view of clients ' financial wellness by integrating risk analytics into their investment solution .

1

9/25/2019

Partner

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10

Date

2/18/2021

9/25/2019

Type

Licensor

Partner

Business Partner

StratiFi

Country

United States

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News Snippet

February 18, 2021 10:02 AM Eastern Standard Time. Robertson Stephens and StratiFi Technologies Announce New Partnership.

SAN FRANCISCO -- -- StratiFi Technologies , developer of award-winning PRISM Rating ™ technology for financial advisors , and Robertson Stephens have announced a new partnership to create a more holistic view of clients ' financial wellness by integrating risk analytics into their investment solution .

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Sources

1

10

Robertson Stephens Team

9 Team Members

Robertson Stephens has 9 team members, including current Managing Director, Ed Brandman.

Name

Work History

Title

Status

Ed Brandman

Managing Director

Current

Clark Callander

Managing Director

Current

Matthew Barbas CFA

Investment Partner

Current

Farah Champsi

InterWest Partners

Managing Director

Former

Jeff Colin

Managing Director

Former

Name

Ed Brandman

Clark Callander

Matthew Barbas CFA

Farah Champsi

Jeff Colin

Work History

InterWest Partners

Title

Managing Director

Managing Director

Investment Partner

Managing Director

Managing Director

Status

Current

Current

Current

Former

Former

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