Cambridge Investment Research has launched BridgePort Financial Solutions, a fee-only registered investment advisor firm that aims to support the business and succession planning needs of smaller independent advisory shops.
Executives say the new firm will focus on taking majority and minority stakes in RIAs with $250 million in assets or less — smaller than firms generally targeted by major RIA consolidators (or rollup firms), some of which are supported by private equity funding.
BridgePort will invest in firms that custody assets with BNY Mellon Pershing, Fidelity’s National Financial, Charles Schwab and SEI, according to two Cambridge leaders who spoke early Tuesday with ThinkAdvisor. Its platform is built on technology provided by Orion Advisor Solutions.
The BridgePort model “will not cannibalize” the acquisition and affiliation goals of Cambridge itself due to growing demand in the independent RIA marketplace for a variety of relationship models and acquisition styles, said Jeff Vivacqua, head of growth and development for the firm.
BridgePort has already acquired three firms with a combined $1 billion in assets under advisement. Two of the deals were inked as full acquisitions, he explained, while one was organized as a minority investment.
The goal for 2024, Vivacqua says, is to make five to 10 more deals. The new channel is being led by Eddie Rollins, a former partner at Horizon Investments, who helped lead that firm’s distribution efforts over the past 14 years.