Fast-growing RIA Parallel Advisors anticipates that Relura Horton, its new female president, will help it attract more women to its client base as the firm sets its sights on growing to $10 billion in client assets over the next seven years.

"There's a Fidelity study showing that by 2020, women are going to control more than $22 trillion in wealth," Horton, former regional managing director with Fidelity Custody and Clearing, said in an interview. "It's important to our clients that we are diverse. By having a diverse management team we'll be well-positioned to attract more clients."

Parallel also will be looking to add advisers from all channels, including wirehouses, banks, independent broker-dealers and RIAs.

Parallel Advisors President Relura Horton
Parallel Advisors President Relura Horton

Currently, the San Francisco-based firm's 21 advisers manage $1.3 billion in client assets.

With Horton onboard, Parallel joins the ranks of the very few large RIAs nationwide with women in top roles. They include Deb Wetherby of Wetherby Asset Management, also in San Francisco, and Lisette Cooper of Athena Capital in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Both Cooper and Wetherby founded their firms.

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY

While at Fidelity, Horton began working with Parallel and its founder Jerry "C.J." Rendic when he launched the firm in 2006.

"C.J. and his partners have always had a very clear vision of leveraging technology to build a scalable practice," Horton said.

Slideshow
RIA Leaders: Top 20 Firms for 2016
The largest independent firms to make the cut.

The firm has about 1,000 clients, Rendic said, many of which are drawn from the executive class of the region's technology companies.

Although Parallel describes itself as "fee only" in marketing materials, some of its advisers maintain insurance company affiliations, including Rendic, according to disclosure information with the SEC.

The firm's advisers hail from a variety of larger firms including Alliance Bernstein, Barclays, Ernst & Young, Hambrecht & Quist, J.P. Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Northwestern Mutual, UBS, Wells Fargo, Wachovia and Dean Witter, according to its website.

‘NO PLANS TO SELL’

Parallel is 100% employee-owned and compensates executives with equity, Rendic said.

When asked if Parallel is growing quickly in order to sell to a larger buyer, Rendic said, "We don't typically discuss the exit strategies that we are considering."

He added that the firm has “no foreseeable plans to sell."

To maintain its annual growth rate of 40% to 50%, he said the firm is looking to add advisers from all channels. Gender diversity will continue to be a priority in hiring, Horton said.

The firm, with offices in San Francisco; Denver; Dayton, Ohio; and Honolulu; is also seeking to fill the role of chief investment officer.