Derek Bruton, who stepped down as Kingswood U.S. CEO in June, has landed at Gladstone Group, an executive search firm and M&A advisory for RIAs, asset managers, broker/dealers, fintech companies and institutions, as senior managing director.
In the new role, Bruton will lead Gladstone’s strategic growth consulting division and support the executive search and M&A advisory businesses as well. Bruton will work with RIAs, broker/dealers and other wealth management firms on their mergers and acquisitions strategies, talent acquisition and organic growth goals.
“We’ll be working with financial advisors, business leaders across the entire wealth management industry as they contemplate the different stages of their business life," Bruton said. “There’s a stark realization out there that they must be thinking about the future of their company, their clients, their staff, their legacy. These are tough decisions that need to be made, especially while running a business. I’m joining Gladstone and leading up this division at the right time to help advisors conquer this complexity and achieve their goals.”
While Gladstone is based in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., Bruton will work out of San Diego, creating a West Coast presence for the firm.
Bruton most recently served as CEO of Kingswood U.S., which he joined in late 2019 when it acquired a broker/dealer and registered investment advisor from Keith Gregg, owner of Chalice Financial Network, the software as a service business for independent small and mid-size firms.
Bruton has been in the industry for over 30 years. He got his feet wet at Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co. in the early 1990s as an equity analyst. He eventually moved on to Charles Schwab, spending seven years as a regional sales director, according to his LinkedIn profile. Bruton then went on to work at Merrill Lynch, TD Ameritrade, LPL Financial, Oppenheimer & Co. and, lastly, Chalice Wealth Management before leading Kingswood U.S.’s wealth management unit.
According to a Gladstone statement, Bruton is responsible for the recruitment of over 10,000 advisors in his career, and he’s counseled more than 20,000 advisory firms and institutions on strategy and growth.
“Whether the goal is to grow organically, inorganically, or through the placement of key talent, I am poised to bring the passion I have for scaling businesses to Gladstone clients,” Bruton said in a statement. “Our industry is seeing explosive growth and incredible convergence, and I look forward to working with Dan (Kreuter, founder of Gladstone Group) and his team to help our clients navigate this exciting time in the space.”