How big a move was it for Eric Mundwiller (right) when he switched today from his sole practice at an independent broker/dealer to Moneta Group, the Clayton, Mo.-based RIA with $11 billion in AUM? He recalled sitting in the kitchen at his home this morning.
“Who was that person at that point in time? He was the chief economist, the chief investment officer, the CEO, the client service rep, the professional consultant, the janitor, the HR person, the compliance person—he was all of those things.
“An hour later, I was only one of those things,” he said.
You get a sense that wearing fewer hats now comes as a relief to him.
Mundwiller, 46, is the 31st advisor to join Moneta as principal, and the third in the past 18 months. A CPA, Mundwiller was affiliated for 17 years with Century Securities Associates, an IBD owned by Stifel Financial. He previously worked at the Personal Financial Services Group at Price Waterhouse, when his clientele included executives from some Fortune 500 companies in St. Louis.
Mundwiller wouldn’t comment on his AUM at Century; advisors who previously joined Moneta had respectable assets in tow. A team from the former A.G. Edwards who joined the RIA in January 2010 brought clients representing $250 million in assets.
The idea of working as a fiduciary grew increasingly attractive to Mundwiller, and he began to consider setting up his own RIA. A chance meeting at a conference in January with old hands from his Price Waterhouse days led to dinner and a meeting with Moneta CEO Gene Diederich, Mundwiller said. Other meetings followed later in the year.
The idea of working with a larger firm grew increasingly attractive to Mundwiller as he explored his options and came to understand the things he would need to do concerning compliance, marketing, and the myriad other responsibilities that go with sole ownership, he said.
“Imagine playing on a soccer field against 11 other folks, and you’re the only player,” he said. “It can work, but is it best?”