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Kestra CIO Kara Murphy
Kestra CIO Kara Murphy

Kestra Taps Goldman Sachs' Kara Murphy as First CIO

Murphy, former CIO at Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, will be Kestra’s first chief investment officer and will build a team to bring research, investment strategies to its 2,400 financial advisors.

Kestra Holdings, which owns Kestra Financial, Grove Point Financial, Bluespring Wealth Partners and Arden Trust, has launched a new division, Kestra Investment Management, and tapped Kara Murphy, former chief investment officer and managing director at Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, to lead it.

Murphy will be Kestra’s first chief investment officer, responsible for building out a team dedicated to bringing investment services to the more than 2,400 financial advisors across its business lines. Those services will include helping advisors uncover trends in the markets and what those trends mean for individual portfolios, a suite of investment strategies that advisors can employ in client portfolios, and providing customized consulting on individual client portfolios.

While Kestra did offer some investment services support previously, it did not have a dedicated, hands-on investment division.

“This industry continues to get more competitive, so we need to continue to think about how else can we deliver value for the financial professionals that we work with,” Murphy said. “If you think about how financial professionals spend their day, a fair amount of their day is spent thinking about investments. But we just didn’t have as much as we thought we could to help advisors with that piece of their practice.”

Murphy said the firm will offer specific advice on asset allocation, conduct third-party asset manager due diligence and pull that together for whole portfolio solutions. It will likely introduce small balance account options, strategies for larger clients and multi-asset class investments, where her team would take on the rebalancing of the portfolios. If the advisor chooses, her team will manage the portfolios.

“We want to be able to look across the investment industry, identify individual investment managers who are best at what they do, and deploy those for our financial professionals and their clients,” Murphy said.

Murphy joined United Capital in 2018, before the firm was acquired and rebranded by Goldman Sachs. Prior to that, she served as chief investment officer at AIG Funds.


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