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Avantax Wealth Management

Advisor Moves: Avantax Adds Burbank Octet with $230M in Assets

Advisors are on the move this week, as no fewer than three teams announced they're switching platforms

Avantax added an eight-person team in Burbank, Calif., LPL added an Arizona octet from Lincoln Financial Group and Cetera brought a trio over from Securities America in announcements this week, representing more than $1.1 billion in client assets.

Avantax Adds Burbank Octet with $230M in Assets

Avantax, a publicly traded, tax-focused wealth management firm with almost $84 billion in client assets, added an eight-person team in Burbank, Calif., with more than $230 million in client assets.

Formerly Blucora, Avantax rebranded early this year after selling its tax software business in December.

Founded in 2000, Comprehensive Financial Services is led by President and CEO Anna Luke, along with her husband Victor Luke, who serves as legal counsel and works with clients on estate planning. The firm joins Avantax from Independent Financial Group, where Anna spent five years, following eight with Financial Planning Corporation. Victor registered with IFG in 2019.

“The main reason we chose Avantax is their tax focus,” Victor Luke said in a statement. “By teaming up with tax professionals in the Avantax network, our clients can improve tax efficiencies through cohesive relationships with CPAs in a way that gives us confidence and keeps clients satisfied with us as a one-stop shop. We’re excited about having a symbiotic relationship like that.”

“They’re a very relaxed group, and we don’t need an appointment to talk with anyone at Avantax. We just pick up the phone and there’s someone on the other end answering my questions,” added Anna Luke.

“Anna is a shining example for women everywhere,” said Laurie Stack, vice president of business development and head of the Women’s Advisor Forum at Avantax. “She is an incredible businesswoman who literally started with nothing but was so determined to succeed that she grew into a highly successful financial advisor.”

NC Trio Leaves Securities America to Join Nascent Cetera Advisor Networks Regional Biz

Cetera Financial Group, a national network of independent advisors based on the West Coast, added a North Carolina advisor overseeing more than $154 million in client assets to its affiliated partnership platform as the firm builds out a regional business in the nation’s Southeast.

Brent McDonald, and two other advisors at Tar Heel Wealth Management in Hickory, N.C., made the move to Cetera from Securities America, an Osaic (formerly Advisor Group) subsidiary set to be fully integrated into its parent company over the next year and a half. The team will join Convergent Financial Partners—created this summer with the additions of D. Kent Prewette and Managing Director Scott Smith in Charlotte, N.C.—and add to Cetera’s regional presence as Convergent works to build a community of advisors across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

“As a relatively new region of Cetera Advisor Networks, we welcome Brent aboard and are confident his practice will thrive here,” Smith said in a statement.

“I can’t imagine receiving the same control and support anywhere else—and I look forward to seeing how my practice continues to grow and strengthen at Cetera,” said McDonald.

Tar Heel provides investment management, financial planning and insurance, specializing in small business, retirement and estate planning. Together, the trio represents more than 80 years of wealth advice and management experience.  

With more than 8,000 financial professionals in its expanding ecosystem, Cetera administered around $340 billion in assets and managed $121 billion at the end of the second quarter.

Validus Financial Joins LPL Financial 

Validus Financial Associates joined LPL Financial’s broker/dealer, RIA and custodial platforms from Lincoln Financial Group, where the eight-person team oversaw about $800 million in client assets.

Based in Peoria, Ariz., Validus was founded in 2009 and is led by senior partners Aaron Montez and Ryan Kidd, author of The Art of Retiring Whole. Prior to Lincoln, the duo spent more than eight years with AXA Advisors.

“As an industry leader, LPL has the size and scale to create enhanced experiences for our clients, especially in terms of technology capabilities,” Kidd said in a statement. “LPL provides access to a wide range of integrated digital tools that will enable us to work smarter, in turn giving us more time to focus on clients. Also, the end-user technology will give our clients more features and abilities, including an app and single sign on, with a more modern look and feel.”

Montez and Kidd also expect to take advantage of LPL’s capabilities to bolster recruiting efforts, according to the announcement. 

The largest independent broker/dealer in the nation, LPL recruited around $32 billion in assets to its platform during the first two quarters of 2023, ending the second half of the year with 21,942 advisors and $1.2 trillion in advisory and brokerage assets.

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