RIA Robertson Stephens Opens Ninth Office with $200 Million-AUM Team
San Francisco-based RIA Robertson Stephens Wealth Management has opened an office in Houston with the hiring of advisor Christopher Knapp and four team members from his former registered investment advisory firm, according to an announcement.
Knapp, former CEO and founder of Houston RIA Collaboration Capital, has joined Robertson Stephens as managing director and principal, and expects to bring about $200 million in assets, the firm said on Tuesday. He moved along with former Collaboration colleagues Annelise Bovet, Gary Fitzgerald, Ron Lerner and Anne Robertson, according to the announcement.
“Joining Robertson Stephens enables us to better support the individuals and multigenerational families we serve with complex and sophisticated wealth management and family office needs,” Knapp said in a prepared statement.
The addition brings Robertson Stephens’ office count to nine and its total assets under management to $1.9 billion, the firm said. Backed by private equity firm Long Arc Capital since 2018, Robertson Stephens is a revived version of a brand originally tied to technology investment banking.
The firm last year opened an office in Austin, and CEO Raj Bhattacharyya said in the announcement of Knapp’s hire that Texas and the Southwest is “a key growth market for our firm.”
Knapp and Robertson Stephens did not respond to requests for comment on Collaboration Capital’s status or whether it will continue operating.
Collaboration, founded by Knapp in 2016, was acquired in August 2019 by Houston-based crowdfunding platform NextSeed, according to Collaboration’s Form ADV. In November of 2020, private investing platform Republic acquired NextSeed’s assets, although parent company NextSeed Inc. and an affiliated broker-dealer, NextSeed Securities, continued operating independently, according to announcements from the firms.
A source familiar with Collaboration said Knapp’s plans to bring his RIA clients to Robertson Stephens had “been in the works for a while” but that the move was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, Knapp remains on NextSeed’s board, the source said.
Collaboration and NextSeed said they had merged “to provide more investment opportunities (and unique opportunities) to a broader swath of people,” according to a December 2019 article in the Houston Chronicle.
“We’re really spreading the net so people who don’t have a million dollars, people who have relatively small portfolios, can have access to this as well,” Knapp was quoted as saying.
Collaboration had focused on putting clients into socially responsible investments, according to the firm’s August 2020 Form ADV filing, which also said the firm “generally requires” $500,000 or more to establish an account.
Prior to Collaborative, Knapp was CEO and co-founder of Chilton Capital Management, where he worked from 1996 to 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. He started his career in 1984 with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., where he worked as a portfolio manager until 1995, his profile said.