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Carson Group building Photo courtesy the Carson Group

Carson Partners Poaches Waddell & Reed Team

Kansas-based Driven Wealth Strategies cited technology and services as two of the driving factors in its decision to move.

Kansas-based Driven Wealth Strategies is joining Carson Partners, according to an announcement by Carson. The $330 million wealth management team out of Wichita, Kan., led by managing partners Karsten Bond, Brent Dome and Chad Phipps, is leaving Waddell & Reed, enticed by the mentorship and technology the trio said was available at their new organization.

Despite technology being one of the stated reasons for the move, the Driven Wealth Strategies team said it hadn’t had the chance to try Waddell & Reed’s Thomson ONE technology, known as WaddellONE, because it was still in the “early stages” of its deployment to advisors, said Phipps. The WaddellONE platform is designed to provide “direct connectivity” to the firm’s tech partners, according to the firm.

Advisor and advisor associate head count at Waddell & Reed has dipped 9% year over year from 1,497 to 1,367, according to the firm’s most recent quarterly filings, and although net new advisory assets were positive, they were also down 44% from the previous year, from $392 million to $220 million. 

The professional development available at Ron Carson's firm was also a factor, said Bond. “One of those unexpected benefits [of the new partnership] is our ability to tap into Carson’s coaching program so we can catapult into new levels of growth, through organic and inorganic channels," he noted. 

The firm was considering more than 10 “partnership offers,” ultimately deciding that Carson’s smaller size would give the team more of a “prominent voice,” added Phipps. He's been affiliated with Waddell & Reed since 2008, according to FINRA's BrokerCheck, moving into financial services after running small businesses in construction and retail.

All 12 of Driven Wealth Strategies’ employees will be moving to Carson. 

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