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Cresset Acquires Yet Another Half-Billion RIA

By Garrett Keyes May 2, 2019

Cresset Asset Management has acquired $500 million San Francisco RIA Cypress Wealth Advisors in its push to expand its national reach, Eric Becker, founder and co-chairman of $4.5 billion RIA Cresset, says.

“The opportunity in northern California and the Bay Area is extraordinary,” Becker says. “Northern California is a wonderful engine of opportunity and innovation for our country, and we saw the opportunity to bring Barbara and Cypress on as a validation of that opportunity.”

Cypress Wealth Advisors will be absorbed as part of Cresset following the deal. Barbara Young, founder, CEO and CIO of Cypress, and the firm’s advisors will become partners at Cresset.

“As with our decision to acquire $500 million RIA Evanston Advisors, it’s very important for Cresset that the leaders of Cypress become firm partners,” Becker says. “It makes our presence and talent in northern California that much more substantial.”

For Cypress, the deal was an opportunity to gain scale and provide its advisory staff with long career pathways, Young says.

“The Bay Area is an increasingly competitive environment” for financial advisors, she says. It’s driven by technology and has a lot of young and diversified wealth interested in doing different investments that may fall outside of a Warren Buffett-type of portfolio, she says. That means RIAs need to grow rapidly, Young says.

“We couldn’t get to a viable scale without linking with another firm,” says Young.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cresset’s acquisition plans won’t stop with Cypress, Becker says.

Eric Becker

“We found Evanston in March and with these two deals under our belt, we are excited for potential deals to come,” he says, adding that new deals may come in markets like Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, and West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Over time we expect to find great opportunities, but we are very focused and strict in how we are selecting firms for acquisitions. We aren’t interested in any roll-up opportunities like we’ve seen around the industry,” Becker says.