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New Platform for RIAs Goes Live with Morgan Stanley Team

New Platform for RIAs Goes Live with Morgan Stanley Team

Advisors looking to leave the wirehouses and break out on their own have more choices on the path to independence than ever before. With the launch of Portland-Ore.-based tru Independence, announced today, advisors have one more choice. Craig Stuvland, Eric Warlick and Jay Penn are rolling out a new independent platform for RIAs coming out of the wirehouses.

“We’re about to plant our flag in this independent advisor revolution, as I call it,” said Stuvland, president and CEO of the firm.

Stuvland hopes to grow to 20 teams and $20 billion in the next five years. Portland-based Encompass Wealth Advisors is the first breakaway team to join tru Independence. The team, comprised of Derrick Clouser, Walter Urban, Matthew Presjak, Colin Williams, and Mary Minshall, was previously at Morgan Stanley and advises on $650 million in assets.  

The new service platform is aimed at investment advisors and wealth managers with assets anywhere from $300 million to $1 billion. In the model, advisors keep 100 percent equity in their firm, while relying on tru Independence for financing, consulting, branding, real estate, vendors, public relations, compliance, etc. They’ll also provide financial metrics to help advisors manage their business both before and after launch.

Prior to creating tru Independence, Stuvland served as president and chief operating officer of Common Sense Investment Management, a fund of hedge funds. Previously, Warlick held executive positions with Fidelity Investments, TD Ameritrade and Schwab Institutional, while Penn served in senior executive positions at Fidelity Investments Institutional and TD Ameritrade Institutional.

The firm plans to leverage Stuvland’s background in the alternatives space. While the firm has alternative investments on the platform, they will be further building out its alternative platform—from institutional and high-net-worth offerings to liquid vehicles for smaller investors.

Ten percent of the company’s net profits will go to charitable organizations in the communities in which they’re operating.

“We very much believe we’re in the very early innings of a major transition happening in the wirehouse,” Stuvland said. “That model is really broken.”

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