Optivest, Inc.

Building wealth and fulfilling dreams with the help of Orange County’s “family office”
By Betsy Sanz
Photography by Lana Farfan, Caught in the Moment Photography
Huntington Beach – and Orange County as a whole – enjoys a unique mix of healthy commerce infrastructure with convenient access to a broad range of skilled labor and business services. It’s a business climate that incubates potential, and many local entrepreneurs have grown their companies into national brands. Such success eventually leads an entrepreneur to crossroads. What happens when he or she lands a huge contract for the company and needs capital to fulfill it? What happens when acquiring another company would take her business to the next level? Or when he wants to gracefully bow out of the business he has built, take his hard earned cash and move into his next major venture… or eventually, hopefully, retire?

At the crossroads, there is Optivest.Mark Van Mourick was a senior vice president at Smith Barney and a leading stock broker in Orange County when he decided that the big investment firm model wasn’t the best that life or money had to offer his clients. Something else was possible.Mark looked at famously wealthy families and recognized that they not only had hard-hitting finance and investment managers for every phase of their careers, but knowledgeable advisors for every facet of their lives. It was “the family office,” where the family’s money was managed like a business, where every investment was customized to the particular priorities and concerns of the family, and where personal pursuits and interests were supported as seriously as business ventures. That’s what Mark wanted to provide for his clients: a multi-family office to advise beyond just their financial assets.So he made a leap from Smith Barney and he invited twelve of his clients to leap with him. The result was Optivest, Inc., a high-touch boutique investment firm founded on the premise that no two clients are the same, so neither should their portfolios be.
That was 26 years ago. Today, Optivest is what Mark intended it to be. Serving high worth clients with millions of investable cash,

Mark and the Optivest team manage the investments of seventy individuals and families on a personal basis.

Always pressing for opportunities to provide clients with unparalleled value, last year Optivest formed an alliance with Sageview Advisory Group to bring clients the benefit of proprietary analytics and dedicated investment research teams that they would never find from any other firm of Optivest’s size. This year, Optivest is growing again to service clients in new and critical ways.
Historically Optivest has serviced those who have already liquidated. However, Mark Van Mourick has always relished the opportunity to advise business owners before they sell, to ensure they position their company and time their exit transition to deliver the highest value possible. In 2001, he wrote a book on the subject, CashOut, Cash In – The After Success Investment Guide, with chapters on selling your business and tax minimization techniques. Last year Mark founded the Orange County Exit Planning Roundtable, a collective of business exit specialists who could coach business owners through the process.

This year, Mark invited Paul Donnelly, an investment banking expert at B. Riley & Co., to join the Roundtable and the two quickly realized that larger synergies existed. When Paul determined to start his own investment banking firm, Mark convinced him that they should partner to launch Optivest Investment Banking in January 2013.

Paul brings to Optivest his 25 years of corporate finance experience, initially as a venture capitalist and then as an investment banker where he has spent the last 17 years of his career in Orange County working directly with owners and company builders in developing and executing corporate finance strategies and transactions. Optivest Investment Banking delivers best-of-class investment banking services to companies that are well positioned to unlock meaningful value for their respective owners, but which often lack the size and scale to get proper attention and quality of service from the larger branded investment banking firms.

Many Optivest Investment Banking clients will be going through the first and only major liquidity event associated with the company they have built, but others will be in need of capital growth, guidance through a merger or acquisition, or other major crossroads in the life of their business. Optivest Investment Banking is there to see them through transitions that increase the wealth that Optivest Investment Management will ultimately manage… all in the same personalized fashion and with the same “family office” philosophy that guided the formation of Optivest 26 years ago. Already Paul has managed a $100+ million transaction for a business owner in the Huntington Beach area whose newly liquidated wealth is now being managed carefully by Optivest to ensure that his dreams, and those of his family, are fulfilled in this new life phase.

And dreams are germane to the Optivest culture. Optivest is foundationally in the business of creating and managing financial security for its clients; but when security is in place, Optivest is also there to support clients in pursuit of higher concerns. Optivest Client Services is where “family office” makes the leap from money management to dream fulfillment by providing exclusive, personalized lifestyle services through a network of experts and luxury partnership alliances. As Mark says, they support clients in addressing those issues that either “keep them up at night” or “light them up in life.” Is there a health concern that needs attention from the nation’s best specialists? Do they need support in planning their child’s college education? Is there a major purchase requiring negotiation help? Optivest is there to find solutions and quarterback experts at every level.

When Mark pursues his own higher concerns, he invites his clients to join him. Ten percent of gross revenue at Optivest goes into a foundation that distributes funds for charitable purposes. Several weeks out of the year sees Optivest team members – and even, on occasion, Optivest clients – overseas in personal distribution of those funds. Optivest-organized service trips typically have destinations in developing countries, where money goes a long way. The Optivest Foundation and the Optivest clientele have funded and personally helped build schools, orphanages, clinics, wells and more in many countries. This year they will fulfill projects in Africa, India, Mexico and Indonesia.

Mark, Paul and the team at Optivest understand that, ultimately, wealth is not about the amount of money you have, but the life you live. If you are at a crossroads and you’re looking for advisors who will make you part of the family, start with Optivest.
Connect with Mark Van Mourick and Optivest Wealth Management by calling 949-363-8686 or visiting www.optivestinc.com. Connect with Paul Donnelly and Optivest Investment Banking by calling 949-596-7172 or visit www.optivestib.com.

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