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RIA Roundup: 3 Teams Leave Advisor Group Ahead of Major Rebrand/Unification Effort

As Advisor Group prepares to roll all advisors into a single brand, teams overseeing a total of $765 million have left for Commonwealth, LaSalle St. and LPL Financial.

After Advisor Group announced it will bring all advisors under one brand and onto a centralized platform last month, two teams have left its affiliate Securities America and another has departed SagePoint Financial.

In other news, Dynasty gained a new platform partner serving Latin American clients and represented its first investment banking client in deals announced this week, while another Dynasty partner launched its own M&A advisory practice and hired a former head of investment management for Saudi Aramco to lead it.

Sowell Management also announced the addition of two RIAs and eight independent advisor representatives since the fourth quarter of last year.

Reported earlier this week: Adviser Investments joined forces with Ropes Wealth Management to create a $15 billion RIA, Prime Capital Investment Advisors added Goldman Sachs as its newest custodian, and Mike Durbin is leaving Fidelity Investments to run Cetera Holdings.  

Three Teams Leave Advisor Group Ahead of Major Rebrand/Unification

Less than a month after Advisor Group announced plans to unify its sprawling, multibrand network of broker/dealers and RIAs on one platform and under a new brand, affiliated firms have lost teams to Commonwealth Financial Network, LaSalle St. and LPL Financial.

Trusted Wealth Partners, based in Omaha, Neb., brings some $465 million in client assets to Commonwealth from Securities America. The 12-person team is led by partners Clint Eikmeier, Jim Lammers, Mark Slattery, Matt Peters and Nathan Brobst.

Link Financial Advisory also left Securities America—to join LaSalle St.’s broker/dealer and RIA platforms. The firm, which includes a team of five advisors, CEO Richard London and a support staff member, oversees some $150 million in client assets and has offices in Las Vegas and Missoula, Mo.

Hedberg Wealth Management, led by Jeff Hedberg, left SagePoint Financial to operate on LPL Financial’s broker/dealer, RIA and custodial platforms. With offices in Fort Myers, Fla., and Newington, Conn., Hedberg and his team oversaw around $150 million in client assets at SagePoint. He will be joined by Branch Operations Manager Michelle Doffek and Devin Moore and Giuseppe Terranova, both of whom are working to become licensed advisors.

“After a tremendous amount of due diligence, we kept coming to the conclusion that LaSalle St. is the right place for our firm and clients,” Link Financial's London said in a statement. He said he chose LaSalle to take part in the firm’s recently announced equity ownership program. “They foster a culture of true independence and demonstrate the ability to support our current business as well as our future growth.”

Hedberg said LPL's entrepreneurial spirit attracted him there. 

“From the firm’s integrated technology platform to the ability to provide clients with differentiated experiences, we are confident this move will help ensure Hedberg Wealth Management has the tools necessary to exceed our clients’ expectations,” he said. 

The Advisor Group network comprises around 11,000 affiliated advisors across eight affiliates overseeing some $565 billion in client assets. Many firms that have joined over the years did so with assurances they would be able to retain branding and independent processes and last month’s announcement represented a significant pivot by management—but CEO Jamie Price said the majority of advisors are on board with the impending changes.

Inside of two years, the firm expects to have brought all its different companies and brands under a single legal entity with a new name and transition all affiliated advisors to a single technology stack and set of processes.

Welcy Capital Advisors Joins Dynasty to Serve LatAm Clients, Pursue Inorganic Growth

Welcy Capital Advisors in Miami has become the latest firm to join the Dynasty Financial Partners network, according to an announcement.

With a focus on serving the Latin American community, Welcy has specialized experience in Latin American markets and international trading. It was founded by executives and shareholders from Prival—which offers private, corporate and investment banking in Panama and Costa Rica—and LW Partners, an asset management shop and investment bank serving private clients, corporations and institutional investors.

With the firm previously called Principle Asset Management, the founding partners renamed it to represent three pillars of service: wellness, wealth and legacy.

Welcy has partnered with Dynasty to leverage the network's tech-enabled platform as it seeks to grow through recruitment and M&A. The firm has selected Charles Schwab as custodian.

The firm intends to pursue M&A opportunities with advisors in the Miami area and has plans to expand into more Latin American countries in the future. Welcy currently serves clients from Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, Curacao and the United States.

Currently, Welcy oversees some $97 million in assets for 15 clients, according to a recent Form ADV.

Pinnacle Associates Buys Investment Management of Virginia in First Dynasty Investment Bank Deal

Pinnacle Associates acquired Investment Management of Virginia, an RIA managing approximately $580 million in assets for high-net-worth individuals and institutions.

With offices in Richmond and Charlottesville, Va., IMVA was founded in 1982 as a subsidiary of brokerage Scott & Stringfellow and provides equity-based investment strategies tailored to individual clients. The firm became independent following a management buyout in 2000.

“Pinnacle appreciates the close relationships we have with our clients, our experience and track record in managing assets for both individuals and institutions, and our dedication to providing comprehensive personal client service,” IMVA Chairman John Bocock said in a statement. “We look forward to putting Pinnacle’s broad capabilities to work for our clients; these include deep experience in domestic and global markets, comprehensive financial planning, and impressive back office and support teams.”

IMVA represents the first client served by Dynasty Investment Bank, Dynasty Financial Partners’ new venture to bring M&A advice and capital support to firms outside its partner network.

Founded in 1984, NYC-based Pinnacle manages some $6.6 billion for more than 2,000 clients.

Former Head of Investment Banking at Saudi Aramco to Lead New M&A Advisory Practice for Aaron Wealth

Aaron Wealth Advisors, a Chicago-based multifamily office managing around $1.6 billion in client assets, hired Christopher Mason as managing director of the firm’s new M&A advisory business, Aaron Wealth M&A Advisory.

Mason spent more than seven years in Saudi Arabia as head of investment banking management for Saudi Aramco. Prior to that, he held senior positions at Ernst & Young, where he spent three years on international M&A, and at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, where he respectively spent 11 and three years focused on sales and portfolio management. Most recently, he was chief financial officer for a telemedicine company named STeM.

The M&A advisory business is led by CEO Gary Hirschberg and Mason, with support from Aaron President and CIO Bill Andrakakos, M&A Advisory Senior Associate Charles Tucker and Managing Director Alex Fedynsky.

“The primary objective of the M&A Advisory team is to help executives simplify and navigate sell-side transactions of a closely held private company,” said Mason. “These transactions can vary from a founder seeking an exit, to managing a more complex multigenerational sale of a family business.”

The new team works with business owners and any professionals required to execute a successful transaction, according to an announcement. The practice provides consultation, target identification, data management, legal negotiation, valuation, pre-deal planning and post-deal integration.

A member of the Dynasty Financial Partners network, Aaron Wealth serves fewer than 100 clients—primarily ultra-high-net-worth families—in five states.

Sowell Management Adds Eight Advisors and Two RIAs in Eight Months

Sowell Management, a privately held RIA based in North Little Rock, Ark., has added eight new investment advisor representatives and two new RIAs to its platform since the end of last year, according to an announcement.

Founded in 2001, Sowell Management currently serves more than 100 IARs and 20 RIAs with more than $4 billion in client assets. according to founder and CEO Bill Sowell.

The new additions are in Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.

“We were looking for a partner to support asset management and offer a platform and team to help us launch our practice,” stated Stephen Carter, a partner at Weaver Capital Advisors. “Their partnership has helped guide us and removed some of the burdens of opening a practice—allowing us to focus on growing and expanding our client base.”

“It emphasizes that in a time when the financial industry is being challenged, Sowell continues to grow,” Sowell Chief Revenue Officer Jason Inglis said in a statement.

Sowell President Daryl Seaton credited the firm’s flexibility as well as the industrywide movement toward the RIA model.

“Our FLEX Connect platform, a purpose-built, end-to-end solution designed to empower advisors through every stage of the wealth management life cycle, was built for affiliated IARs; however, we have the technology, expertise and people to use what we have built to service unaffiliated RIAs as well,” he said.

Founded in 2001, Sowell currently oversees around $2.8 billion across more than 50 partner firms for almost 6,000 clients.

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