Part 2 of 2: The $5B Breakaway That Led to a $125mm Acquisition Deal
A conversation with Mark Sear and David Hou, Managing Partners of Evoke Advisors
In our last episode, Mark Sear and David Hou shared the early chapters of their incredible journey—breaking away from Merrill Lynch in 2008 to form their own RIA firm Luminous Capital, and in 2012 selling that firm to First Republic Bank for a whopping $125mm.
In this episode, Mark and David pick up where that story left off: That is, with their 2019 announcement that they would be leaving First Republic to form a new RIA firm, Evoke Advisors.
It’s a rare glimpse into the mindset and motivation of two top advisors who were breakaways not once, but twice—and their quest to remove limitations that were impeding their efforts to build a “new paradigm for wealthy families.”
This in-depth conversation digs into…
- Their thoughts on running a wealth management practice as an employee versus an independent business owner—and how each affects an advisor’s ability to grow his business.
- How building an RIA in 2019 is very different than it was in 2008—and what Mark and David learned the first time around that informed their decisions for Evoke Advisors.
- The role inorganic growth plays in their new firm—and what it’s like to be on the other side of the M&A table.
- Their view of retire-in-place programs—and the potential impact on client services.
Mark and David share many lessons for advisors in these two episodes but there’s one in particular that stands above all others: Always do what’s best for the clients.
Mark is a Managing Partner at Evoke-ARIS. Mark has served as a financial advisor to wealthy families and institutional investors since 1993. He began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and five years later joined Merrill Lynch to help build the Private Banking and Investment Group. In 2008, Mark and his partners founded Luminous Capital, which First Republic Bank acquired in 2012. While at First Republic, Mark served as a Senior Managing Director. Barron’s and Forbes have ranked Mark perennially as one of Top 100 Wealth Advisors in the country.
Mark received his BS in business from the University of the Pacific (UOP) and an MBA from the Leavy School of Business at Santa Clara University. He was an NCAA collegiate golfer at UOP, and is an active supporter of SCS Noonan Scholars, a foundation providing funding and support for intercity college-bound youth. Mark lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife and has two adult children.
David is a Managing Partner of Evoke-ARIS. He has served as a financial adviser to wealthy families and institutional clients since 1992. David began his career in the Goldman, Sachs & Co. Private Client Services Group and six years later joined Merrill Lynch to help build the Private Banking and Investment Group. In 2008, David and his partners founded Luminous Capital, which First Republic Bank acquired in 2012. While at First Republic, David served as a Senior Managing Director and was a member of the Altair Alternative Investment Committee, the bank’s private investments platform. Barron’s and Forbes have ranked David perennially as one of the Top 100 Wealth Advisors in the country.
David received a BS in economics/business from UCLA and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is an advisory board member of the UCLA Anderson School Fink Center for Finance and Investments. He also is a trustee and chair of the Finance Committee at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica. David is an active supporter of SCS Noonan Scholars, a foundation providing funding and support for inner-city college-bound youth. David lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife and four children.