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(L-R): Jason Kurz, Laura Palacios and Edwin Milner

$1B Signature Bank Team Joins Atria's Cadaret Grant

A trio from the former Signature Bank will operate as an independent team associated with a branch of Cadaret Grant.

Atria Wealth Solutions, a Lee Equity Partners–backed wealth management holding company launched in 2017 by former Morgan Stanley executive Doug Ketterer, has recruited a team of advisors from New York Community Bancorp's Flagstar Bank, which acquired Signature Bank in the wake of its collapse. Edwin Milner, Laura Palacios and Jason Kurz, who previously managed nearly $1.1 billion in client assets at Signature, join Cadaret Grant, one of Atria’s broker/dealer subsidiaries.

The three advisors will operate as an independent team with one of Cadaret Grant’s oldest and largest branches—American Investment Planners, in Jericho, N.Y. The trio, along with one support staff member, expect to bring as much as 90% of their client roster with them, according to William Morrissey, head of Atria’s independent channel and president of Cadaret Grant.

“They have had a big presence in Long Island,” Morrissey said, explaining the team has long had a relationship with AIP advisor Brian Amato. “As they were exploring independence, they looked to Brian, and Brian introduced them to us.”

Palacios, who will serve as executive vice president and senior financial advisor, said the move was driven by a desire to offer more services to clients and access better technology.

“Feedback from our clients, as well as the recent bank challenges, prompted us to seek a partner who understands our vision and has the capabilities and resources to help us realize that vision,” she said in a statement.

Atria boasts a number of proprietary fintech platforms, including Unio, an integrated technology platform that was a finalist at the 2022 Wealth Management Industry Awards for its transition support capabilities; a client portal called Clear1; and Contour, a fee-based advisory platform that offers everything from processing and rebalancing to research, portfolio construction and billing. 

“Without question, broader market dynamics are reshaping the wealth management space, with successful financial professionals and investment programs seeking not just stable and well-resourced platforms for the clients they serve, but also those that are dynamic and can quickly adapt to the fluidity of our industry,” Ketterer said in a statement.

Atria owns several subsidiaries providing brokerage and registered advisory services, including Cadaret Grant, NEXT Financial Group, Western International Securities, SCF Securities, CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial.

Most recently, Atria announced plans to acquire Grove Point Financial, a broker/dealer subsidiary of Kestra Financial. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023.

Together, the Atria network supports nearly 2,300 financial professionals overseeing approximately $116 billion in client assets. Cadaret Grant represents around $27 billion, including AIP, which accounts for close to $2.6 billion. AIP advisors are all affiliated on a 1099 independent contractor basis.

“We've built a model that allows us to attract advisors across the four major channels and the business model continuum,” said Morrissey. “We recruit out of wirehouses, independents, bank-owned broker/dealers and insurance-owned broker/dealers. We have a registered rep model, a dually registered model, and a hybrid model and that allows us to be very nimble in the marketplace.

“In my experience, the marketplace is very cyclical,” he added. “When one sector rotates out of favor and another's rotating into favor, we can sort of stay ahead of that sector rotation. It also allows us to take advantage of event-driven opportunities.”

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