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Ian Wenik / 16 January 2019, 10:29

Halbert Hargrove has added advisors to its Long Beach, Calif. and Houston offices.

Halbert Hargrove, a $2.5 billion RIA,  has hired three new advisors as the firm prepares for a renewed growth push which could include some mergers and acquisitions.

The RIA has hired Vincent Birardi and Samantha Garcia for its main Long Beach, Calif. office and Cheryl Burgmaier for its Houston office. Birardi and Garcia previously worked as a vice president of client information strategy at Pimco and an advisor at Los Angeles-area RIA Asset Planning, respectively. Burgmaier, a trained accountant who ran her own CPA practice in New Mexico, is in the process of becoming certified to advise clients.

None of the new advisors are bringing over existing books of client business, Halbert Hargrove chief operating officer JC Abusaid (pictured above) said, but all three will play a major part in the firm’s future plans.

‘We spend a lot of time making sure we get the right people on board. We put people through many, many interviews. The process that we go through is very robust,’ he said. ‘I think that culture drives success here, and if we miss or hire somebody that does not fit, it puts a kink in the whole system.’

Halbert Hargrove, which has eight offices in five states, prefers to track growth by number of clients instead of assets itself. The firm currently runs money for around 650 clients and is looking to grow by ‘double digits’ in 2019, Abusaid said.

To that end, the firm is looking at mergers opportunistically. Abusaid indicated the firm is looking to buy one or two RIAs in 2019 with at least $100 million in assets and/or 100 clients.

‘They would have to be very like-minded people. People that believe in providing the wealth advisory services or the wealth management services where we’ll do whatever it takes from estate planning review, tax return review,’ Abusaid said. ‘We find in this industry there’s not a lot of firms that provide the whole suite of services. There’s a lot of firms that say they do. They really don’t.’

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