Wells FA Team Bolts for RIA Moneta

More proof of the breakaway broker phenomenon, albeit anecdotal? Moneta Group has hired two veterans legacy A.G. Edwards advisors, the company said today, amid a nascent national trend of advisors leaving wirehouses for smaller independents.

More proof of the breakaway broker phenomenon, albeit anecdotal? Moneta Group has hired two veterans legacy A.G. Edwards advisors, the company said today, amid a nascent national trend of advisors leaving wirehouses for smaller independents.

Patrick J. Howley III, a certified financial planner and a former broker and branch manager at A.G. Edwards (which was acquired by Wachovia Securities, which was acquired by Wells Fargo on Jan. 1, 2009), joins Moneta as a principal and family CFO. Betsy E. Dow, a CPA, joins the firm as a professional consultant.

Howley and Dow are bringing clients representing $250 million in assets to Moneta, the company said.
Headquartered in St. Louis, Moneta has nearly $7 billion in AUM. Howley’s arrival brings the number of financial advisors to 30. The firm ranked third-largest in Registered Rep.’s America’s Top 100 RIAs last year.

Wirehouse advisors still control the most money, of course. But wirehouses can expect a net loss of $188 billion in assets for 2009, according to a recent estimate by research firm Cerulli Associates. Independent RIAs and independent b/ds each took about $50 billion of that total, Cerulli said, and dually registered firms accounted for $63 billion. Wirehouse market share of AUM will fall to 40.7 percent by the end of 2012 from 47.7 percent in 2008, Cerulli estimated. RIAs will see their share grow from 11 percent to 12.9 percent in that period, the firm added, while independent b/ds will grow from 14.3 percent to 15.9 percent.

From December 2008 through November 2009, Discovery Database says 22,956 reps moved from one firm to another. Of those who switched, 40 percent were wirehouse reps. (Wells Fargo counts as a “wirehouse.” About half (51 percent) of the wirehouse reps stayed within the wirehouse channel, but switched firms.

Last month 1,966 reps changed b/d firms, according to Discovery Database. Of the 425 wirehouse reps that made moves, 16 percent went to independent firms while 38 percent stayed within the wirehouse channel.

The year-end numbers were a jump from the preceding November, when 702 reps, including 177 wirehouse reps, changed firms, Discovery data showed.


Moneta said Howley, whose career spans more than 25 years, was one of the first brokers at A.G. Edwards to adopt a financial planning approach to clients. Dow, who worked 17 years at the A.G. Edwards’ home office, helped develop resources in retirement plans, financial plans, business and executive services.

Howley, of Clarkson Valley, Mo., spent 25 years at A.G. Edwards. She earned a B.S. in business administration at Quincy College and an M.B.A. from St. Louis University. Dow, of University City,, Mo., holds both a B.S. in accounting and an M.B.A. in finance from Washington University.

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