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Practice Mergers and Acquisitions

Atria-Backed IBD Recruits $600 Million OSJ

The New Jersey-based team of 12, led by Bert Riley, was attracted to the firm’s capabilities and boutique feel.

Independent broker/dealer Cadaret Grant, a subsidiary of Atria Wealth Solutions, has recruited an office of supervisory jurisdiction managing $600 million from Royal Alliance. The team of 12 advisors is based in Wall, N.J., and is led by Bert Riley.

Kevin Beard, Atria’s chief growth officer, said Riley was attracted to the firm’s capabilities combined with a "boutique" feel. Having Brian Nelson, Cadaret’s new head of practice management, on board was another attraction. Atria hired Nelson, who founded third-party consulting firm Pratica Consulting, earlier this year to build out a new practice management division with the IBD.

Atria, the private equity-backed wealth management holding company launched by former Morgan Stanley executive Doug Ketterer in 2017, acquired Cadaret, Grant & Co., a Syracuse, N.Y.-based privately owned IBD, in April 2018.

Atria aims to build a new kind of independent broker/dealer model, not on indiscriminate acquisitions of existing registrations, but by carefully building a layer of support for independent advisors on top of a few well-chosen outposts for future acquisitions.

The firm has been re-engineering and re-designing its technology platform over the past year, building out new functionalities and rolling them out to their 2,000 advisors.

It recently launched a new client portal, called Clear 1, part of a movement by the company to bring a more goals-based focus to the 300,000 end-clients who will be on the platform, said Eugene Elias, chief operating officer and founding partner of the firm.

The firm has started to roll out texting capabilities, something that is driving efficiency for a lot of advisors, who get faster responses from clients.

“Clients are responding pretty immediately to the text and that could be, ‘Hey, I need this document signed,’ or ‘Hey, I just want to confirm that we're still on for tomorrow for lunch,’ whatever it might be,” Elias said. “They really started to build it into the way that they collaborate and communicate with clients. And again, it's how clients want it, but it's also just making their life a lot easier.”


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