As part of an aggressive growth strategy in the Golden State, Washington Wealth Management, a San Diego registered investment advisory firm, announced Thursday it hired David Richman to serve as its Market Area Director for Southern California.

Washington Wealth, which is an independent hybrid RIA supporting fee and commission-based independent advisors nationally, plans to open three new offices in “key” California markets over the next 12 to 18 months. It already has offices in California in San Diego and Los Angeles. It also has offices in Las Vegas, Seattle, Westport, Conn., Middelburg, Va., and Miami.

Richman, a 17-year veteran of the financial advisory industry, was a complex director for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in California in Irvine and Pasadena. In 2011, he was named one of Morgan’s three national Community Service Award winners.

At Washington Wealth, he will be responsible for recruiting leading advisors from the wirehouses and drive growth in Southern California.

Washington Wealth has aggressively grown its business in the past year. Assets under management have increased from $100 million in December 2011 to over $1 billion.

“Dave’s a known entity, an A player who’s highly regarded for his strong business acumen as much as for his ability to attract and retain top tier talent,” said Rob Bartenstein, CEO of Washington Wealth. “His decision to join us at this time is emblematic of two important themes; first, the waiting and wondering about our model is over. We’ve proved it works and top wirehouse advisors and managers alike are taking notice. Second, and most importantly, Dave truly values the opportunity to actually build something that will help advisors grow their business.  Like all of us at WWM, he’s committed to being the best, working with the best and delivering a solution for advisors and their clients that’s frankly, long overdue.  2013 is going to be a great year for WWM, and in Southern California Dave Richman will be setting a lot of experience free.”

Richman said he was attracted to Washington Wealth because of its “turnkey multi-custodial platform and unique understanding of the needs of successful advisors.”

“I cannot wait to get started helping the firm expand its footprint and helping the right advisors build and grow their businesses,” he said. “I am free, with vigor and enthusiasm, and I intend to make the most of the opportunity to help others find their way to freedom and see how powerful this platform can be.”