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Steward Partners Recruits $1B in AUM in Six Weeks

With new capital backing from the Pritzker Organization and Goldman Sachs custody, Steward Partners has boosted its recruiting, adding seven advisors in six weeks.

Steward Partners, a $23 billion hybrid affiliated with Raymond James, has recruited seven advisors with a combined $1 billion in assets under management over the past six weeks.

The Washington, D.C.–headquartered firm reported in late June the addition of a duo from the Wells Fargo Private Wealth Profit Formula program, where they managed $780 million in AUM. The team, led by advisors Joe Sullender and John Utley, is operating as Sullender Utley Financial Group out of McLean, Va.

In Paramus, N.J., Steward added a father-daughter team from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Advisor Aaron Liberman and his daughter and fellow advisor, Simi Schwartz, who serve high-net-worth clients, formed S&L Group. The team declined to disclose its AUM.

Steward also recruited another Paramus-based advisor, Erik Anderson. And in New York City, Osvaldo Brito joined from Wells Fargo Advisors. In Hendersonville, N.C., Peter Shanahan joined from Robert W. Baird & Co.

Also during the second quarter, Steward signed up to be Goldman Sachs’ first new custody client that the firm is currently building out via its acquisition of Folio Financial’s technology. While Raymond James has provided custodial services for Steward in the past, the RIA announced plans recently to move to a multicustodial model.

Steward Partners also recently secured a second and permanent capital backer, the Pritzker Organization, the investment bank for the Pritzker family, heirs to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, to further advance its growth trajectory. Private equity firm Cynosure Group is also an investor in Steward.

Echelon Partners, an investment bank and consulting firm, dubbed the Pritzker Organization’s investment in Steward as one of the most significant minority investments of the second quarter in its RIA M&A Deal Report. The deal was in the top three for most AUM transacted at $9.8 billion, trailing behind Charlesbank Capital Partners' investment in Lido Advisors and Leonard Green & Partners' stake in Mariner Wealth Advisors. Echelon said the deal exemplified such trends as private equity’s appetite for wealth managers and the increase in liquidity options for large wealth managers.

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