Iconiq Co-Founder Starts Rival Wealth Firm, Swipes at Conflicts

(Bloomberg) -- One of four co-founders of Iconiq Capital has left to start a rival firm, while calling out conflicts of interest in the wealth-management industry.

Chad Boeding is opening Epiq Capital Group, which will cater to the same kind of ultra-wealthy clientele as his previous firm, according to a statement Tuesday from the new company. At least 10 former Iconiq employees joined San Francisco-based Epiq this month, according to their LinkedIn profiles. The adviser caters to clients worth at least $100 million and will offer direct investments. But unlike Iconiq, it won’t peddle its own venture or private equity funds.

“Epiq’s launch is directly related to Boeding’s intense commitment to avoiding conflicts of interest commonly found at major banks and large advisory firms," the company said in the statement. “Epiq will never sell proprietary products nor have its own internal funds.”

Iconiq Co-Founder Starts Rival Wealth Firm, Swipes at Conflicts

Iconiq, which Boeding helped start in 2011, parlayed its connections to Silicon Valley executives -- chief among them Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg -- into rapid growth. Some rivals have criticized Iconiq for pushing its funds rather than remaining an impartial adviser. Such fee-generating practices have become a flashpoint in the high-end wealth-management industry, resulting in some clients fleeing banks that may push their own products for independent wealth managers.

Recent Departure

Iconiq was founded by Divesh Makan, Boeding, Michael Anders and Will Griffith. Makan, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley adviser, has described the team at Iconiq as “Mark’s family office.” The firm since expanded to offer merchant-banking and other services.

Boeding, who also worked at Goldman Sachs, recently left Iconiq, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the departure hasn’t been made public. He was listed as a partner as recently as April 27, according to a regulatory filing.

A spokeswoman for Iconiq declined to comment.

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