A team of five has left Morgan Stanley to launch their own registered investment advisory firm with $1.9 billion in client assets on the tru Independence platform. SpirePoint Private Client has selected Goldman Sachs Advisor Services as its primary custodian in the move, becoming the first GSAS transition on the tru platform.
SpirePoint Private Client has been founded by CEO Trent Leyda, President Kay Campione and Vice President Jim Beindorf. Other members of the team include Senior Vice President Susie Zimmerman and Associate Heather Tritt. Previously operating as the Leyda Group at Morgan Stanley, Campione said the team decided to leave the wirehouse to have more flexibility.
“We had to make a decision for the long term,” she told WealthManagement.com in an emailed response. “It was an easy decision as our focus has always been on the needs of clients. As an independent registered investment advisor, we have the flexibility to go out into the market and tailor to the needs of the clients.”
They chose Goldman Sachs for the unique resources it can offer.
“We have access to all the Goldman research, lending solutions, family offices services, and of course world class investment solutions both traditional and alternative,” Campione said. She also cited Goldman’s proactive adoption of AI-enabled applications and “sophistication and simplicity” of the custodial platform.
“We’ve been watching as they’ve developed their custody capabilities,” tru CEO Craig Stuvland said of GSAS. Tru established a formal relationship with the custodian about nine months ago as Goldman was “putting the final touches on their services.”
Goldman’s role in the transition was the transfer and safeguarding of client assets, noted Stuvland. Tru takes it from there, he said, populating the TruView technology platform with data needed to get the firm up and running, while providing support around everything from talent and administration to marketing and educational resources.
The Advyzon-based TruView platform, unveiled in May, combines technology with behavioral finance and human support to provide a responsive advisor experience allowing partner firms to spend more time on clients and growth. Since its debut, the tru platform has increased assets from about $9.5 billion to $11.5 billion—double the growth reported in all of 2022.
“TrueView has definitely been a big component of our success,” said Stuvland. “We've been trying to solve for this for years, as far as a platform that combines an advisory dashboard with business insights, risk metrics, all their CRM client information, portfolio and investment management, financial planning tools, all embedded into in one technology.
“It’s been really well received and validated,” he said. “Every new firm that we've brought on the platform has embraced TruView.”
Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2009, Leyda spent more than five years at Raymond James, where he was associate vice president of investments. The rest of the SpirePoint team has come on board since 2017, when Campione made the move from Merrill Lynch. Prior to Merrill, she served as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State.
Beindorf, a CPA, spent five years in accounting between 2009 and 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile, before joining Leyda at Morgan in 2020.
SpirePoint is the sixth firm to join the tru Independence platform in 2023, along with Seven Mile Advisory in April, Crossover Capital Advisors in May, Gainline Financial Partners and Sykon Capital in June, and 44 North Capital in September.
Including SpirePoint, tru has added over $4 billion in assets in 2023—or more than four times last year’s reported growth.
Now in its tenth year, the Portland, Ore.-based firm expects to continue adding teams in the $750 million to several billion range, said Stuvland. While the majority are wirehouse breakaways, roughly 30% of firms on the tru platform came from other large RIA acquirers or were existing firms in need of additional support.
Stuvland expects tru’s biggest challenge in the coming year will be maintaining a manageable rate of growth.
“We want to continue to be very thoughtful about how we bring new clients into our firm,” he said. “We’re becoming a little bit more known in the industry, and probably have the largest pipeline that we’ve had since inception. I think it's indicative of this movement in the breakaway space. We’re still in the early innings of a massive transition from wirehouses to independent advisors, and I think it’s going to accelerate over the next couple of years.”