Lido Advisors found Colorado Financial Management to be perfect fit
BOULDER — Lido Advisors LLC, the California-based firm that bought out investment firm Colorado Financial Management LLC last week, found CFM to be a perfect fit, Lido’s president told BizWest in an interview.
“We had been working with a consultant who knows Lido,” said Ken Stern, president of Lido, which has been on an aggressive path of expansion over the past few years. “This consultant had been working with Colorado Financial Management, too, and learned how they wanted to grow, what they wanted. This consultant started to create a process” for Colorado Financial to work with and learn about other investment firms.
“While the process was competitive, we clicked. It just seemed right, right from the start,” Stern said.
Stern said Lido, which targets high-net-worth individuals and requires a minimum investment of $1 million, has been growing at a double-digit rate for the past several years. It looks for a geography where it doesn’t have a presence and explores mergers with companies that bring the right mix of clients and investment expertise. Lido has about $12 billion in assets under management; Colorado Financial has $2 billion in assets under management.
Because Colorado Financial fit the Lido brand so closely, it will be brought into Lido under its Colorado Financial name instead of being rebranded.
“Lido is building a brand. We thought ‘Colorado Financial Management, a Lido Company’ was the right solution in this case. We almost always do the opposite, change the name to Lido Advisors.”
“We want recognition of our vision to be the premium investment firm in the United States. When the brand is so strong locally, we don’t want to disrupt that,” Stern said.
Lido Advisors, based in Los Angeles, manages its investments in house, he said. “Clients want and deserve more [than what some investment companies offer.] That gives us accountability, transparency and savings for our clients.”
Stern said the in-house team of investment counselors, accountants, tax experts, and estate planners serves clients better.
“Our business is not demand constrained. Entrepreneurs are growing their businesses, executives continue to grow, we’re living longer. Our target clients are preparing tax returns and are looking for more solutions, better planning. We don’t have a huge growth target — we are a growth company — but we’re more focused on doing it right. We’re growing at a double-digit rate. We try to create an infinitely scalable model so our products and services continue to get better,” Stern said.
Colorado was one of the geographies that Lido wanted to capture in its expansion. To do that, “We needed the right team in the geography we’re moving into. Colorado Financial has deep roots, the same culture, the same outlook. They checked all the boxes. They have the expertise. What Lido can do is add the deep bench, the technical staff, everything that we can do that an independent staff wants to do. This gives us a competitive advantage in the Colorado climate. We want to do more of what they’re doing.”
Stern expects that Lido will continue to expand in Colorado.
“Someone in Cherry Creek doesn’t want to drive to Fort Collins, for example. Our ethos is to have the human touch, the deep relationships.”
The partners and directors at Colorado Financial will become directors in Lido Advisors. Their expertise will be folded into the larger company, he said.