Stratos Wealth Partners Adds Utah Presence

Stratos Wealth Partners, a fast-growing registered investment advisor with a national footprint, has expanded into Utah with the recruitment of two separate groups of former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney advisors, the firm said today.

Craig P. Adams and Steve Beierlein will operate a hybrid RIA partnership under the Stratos name in Ogden, Utah, bringing about $250 million in client assets over, Stratos said. A second hybrid RIA will operate in Logan, Utah, under the name of Adams Wealth Advisors, run by S. Craig Adams (no relation to Craig P.); it expects to transition about $100 million in AUM.

The latest deals give Stratos 125 advisors in nine states, and AUM of about $4 billion. The firm clears with LPL Financial, which also custodies most of its assets. It marked its third anniversary last February.

 “We’re trying to find great advisors in the banks and brokerages, or who have insurance backgrounds as well, that are interested in going independent but not doing it alone,” Stratos Managing Partner Charles Shapiro told me.

About 25 to 30 advisors have joined so far this year, compared to 100 in 2011, he said. Based in Solon, Ohio, Stratos is looking to sign up 150-175 advisors this year, with a goal of having 500 advisors in the next three to four years.

Stratos offers partnerships to qualified advisors, who retain equity in their own practices. Stratos offers two service models for advisors—a full service offering with a payout of 50 to 70 percent, depending on the advisors’ level of production, and an independent model where advisors assume greater costs but see a larger payout of 62 to 87 percent, Shapiro said.

He and three other managing partners own 70 percent of the firm, advisors own 20 percent, and staff own the rest, he said.

Stratos founder Jeffrey Concepcion was in the news this spring when an arbitration panel ordered former employer Lincoln Financial Advisors to pay him $2 million over a dispute that followed his termination there in 2008, as my colleague Diana Britton wrote.






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