Wealth Management Firms Merge 

San Francisco’s Kochis Fitz, an independent wealth management firm, has agreed to merge with Los Angeles-based Quintile Wealth Management as of Jan. 1, the companies announced Monday.

The combined firm, to be known as Kochis Fitz/Quintile until a new name is found, will be the largest independent wealth management and family office business in California and among the three largest in the nation, company officials said. Headquartered in San Francisco, the new company will manage or advise on more than $5 billion in assets.

"Both firms are passionately dedicated to providing our clients with conflict-free advice, and with this merger, we have formed an ownership structure that permits us to sustain our independence indefinitely," said Tim Kochis, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kochis Fitz.

Kochis will serve as CEO of the merged firm until mid to late 2009, when Rob Francais, CEO and co-founder of Quintile, will succeed him.

The firm also named 18 new principals from both Kochis Fitz and Quintile as equity participants, giving the company 32 employee-owners.

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