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49 Financial President Luke Winskowski

Former Thrivent Wealth Exec Joins RIA 49 Financial

Luke Winskowski, former head of Thrivent’s advice and wealth management division, has joined 49 Financial as president. The Austin-based RIA with just under $1 billion in client assets was the first outside firm to join Thrivent Advisor Network.

Luke Winskowski, former head of Thrivent’s advice and wealth management division and Thrivent Advisor Network, has landed at 49 Financial, an Austin, Texas-headquartered hybrid registered investment advisor with 150 advisors and just under $1 billion in assets under management. He'll serve as president.

Thrivent, the Midwest-based not-for-profit financial services organization founded by Lutherans, launched its hybrid independent advisor platform, Thrivent Advisor Network, in 2019, bringing over 130 of its own advisors from the legacy insurance broker/dealer. In July 2020, 49 Financial became the first outside team to join the TAN platform, under Winskowski’s leadership.

But 49 Financial, led by CEO Travis Penfield, left TAN at the beginning of 2022 to start its own RIA, according to Winskowski.

Since then, TAN has seen a shakeup in its senior management team. Winskowski left the company in early 2023, as “part of a restructure, as they were looking at their strategic priorities,” he said. Winskowski was offered opportunities to stay at the firm, but he decided to take leave instead.

Last July, Carolyn Armitage, who joined in June 2021 to take over for Winskowski as head of TAN, was laid off as part of a larger reorganization of the wealth management business. Thrivent also laid off four other people on Armitage’s team, including business development officers Tom Pistole and Erik Feldman, Growth Program Manager Lori Sherman and Business Development Consultant Katie Tram. 

While Winskowski says he had opportunities to join large organizations, he was attracted to 49 Financial’s model of growing the next generation of leaders. The average age of the firm’s advisors are mid-to-late 20s.

“When they say ‘next generation,’ it’s truly starting with college graduates and building them into a team-based mentor model to both serve clients and grow in their leadership skills, which allows them to teach people how to attract and develop and grow talent in the market to do that,” he said.

The RIA expects to double its current number of advisors in the next year to 300, and it has a larger goal of reaching 1,000 advisors in the next few years.

“I’m only 42; I have a couple decades ahead,” Winskowski said. “I wanted to be part of something that was a true build that would make impact and impact the whole industry. This was very much a call to what’s on my heart around how do we actually do this.”

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