California-based advice firm EP Wealth Advisors has acquired $230 million AUM RIA Pathlight Investors in a push to set up shop in the Phoenix and greater Arizona markets, Patrick Goshtigian, president and CEO of $5.3 billion AUM RIA EP Wealth, says.

Pathlight's acquisition is EP Wealth’s sixth since financial services holding company Wealth Partners Capital Group took a minority stake in the firm in July of 2017.

Phoenix is a “very active marketplace” and EP Wealth is “actively” working to expand the geographies it serves, Goshtigian says. Pathlight Investors is “a great fit” in the Phoenix market.

EP Wealth had “a few clients” in the Phoenix area before buying Pathlight, but this deal marks the firm’s first office opening in the region, Goshtigian says. Prior to the deal EP Wealth had 10 offices; seven in California, two in Denver, and one in Seattle, thanks to a May acquisition.

Pathlight co-founders Adrian Larson and M.J. Nodilo will become regional directors of EP Wealth following the purchase. The firm’s third co-founder, Patsy Nodilo, will become a wealth advisor.

“When we started Pathlight in 2009, we were right in the belief that the industry would shift from a wirehouse-dominated model to the boutique RIA model,” Larson says.

But 10 years after Pathlight’s launch the partners concluded depth and breadth of service offering would be “key” to service and win clients in the independent world, Larson says.

Patrick Goshtigian

Being acquired by EP Advisors gave Pathlight the “opportunity to tap into that expanded offering” and benefit from large investments EP Wealth will continue to make in its technological and talent infrastructure, he says.

The deal took nine months of “active conversation” to complete in total, Goshtigian says.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.