California wealth management firms Kochis Fitz and Quintile Wealth Management said they plan to merge, effective Jan. 1, 2008, with the combined firm to be known initially as Kochis Fitz/Quintile until a new name can be found.

The combined firm will become the largest independent wealth management firm and family office business in California, managing or advising on more than $5 billion in client assets.

Under the management succession plan, Kochis Fitz CEO Tim Kochis will serve as CEO of the merged firm until mid-to-late 2009. Quintile CEO Rob Francais will serve as COO until he succeeds Kochis in late 2009 as CEO.

Eighteen new principals from the two firms were named equity participants in the combined entity, giving Kochis Fitz/Quintile a total of 32 employee-owners. Together the two firms serve approximately 385 individuals and families with a team of 68 employees. Their credentials include advanced degrees in law, economics, accounting and business, in addition to professional credentials in financial planning and investments.

The combined firm will be headquartered in San Francisco, but will retain a major presence in Los Angeles where Quintile is headquartered.

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