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Charles Painter of Painter, Smith & Amberg

RIA Roundup: Painter, Smith & Amberg Joins Prospera with $650M

No less than three new RIAs debuted this week, while Prospera and four other firms announced deals, three made key appointments and one updated its name.

Prospera Financial Services picked up four advisors and $650 million in assets in California’s San Bernardino Valley and Berger Financial Group reached $2 billion and established a presence in Illinois with its 18th acquisition. In Annapolis, a $625 million firm spun off a team of four to create Curio Wealth.  

Steward Partners also announced that it shortened its name in the final stage of a brand refresh started last year, and the private wealth arm of BOK Financial named a managing director of Family Office Services.  

In earlier reported news: 

A former Morgan Stanley advisor launched a new RIA in collaboration with tru Independence, a four-person team left Northwestern Mutual to create an independent RIA leveraging Fidelity Institutional’s technology platform, and LPL said it will buy Atria Wealth Solutions’ family of wealth management businesses. Significant deals were also announced by Pathstone and Perigon.  

Mercer Advisors and Choreo reported key hires in support of M&A, growth and practice management initiatives.  

Painter, Smith & Amberg Joins Prospera with $650M 

Dallas-based Prospera Financial Services, a broker/dealer and RIA platform supporting 175 independent advisors with around $18 billion in assets, attracted a team of four advisors in Redlands, Calif. 

Established in 1982, Painter, Smith & Amberg is a dually registered firm that has operated independently for four decades and advises on around $650 million in assets. The team of Charles Painter, David Smith, Jeffrey Amberg and Kallie Rawson choose to affiliate with Prospera to benefit from the “scale and technology of a larger firm’s back-office support structure, alleviating them from the day-to-day operations of running a broker/dealer and allowing them to enhance the services they can deliver to their clients and drive additional growth,” according to a firm spokesperson.  

Earlier this year, Prospera announced it was consolidating ultra-high-net-worth expertise to offer a comprehensive suite of family office services for its wealthiest clients.  

Berger Financial Group Buys Robert Gordon & Associates 

Minneapolis-based RIA Berger Financial Group reached $2 billion in managed assets with the acquisition of Robert Gordon & Associates in Springfield, Ill. 

Led by President Bob Gordon, the six-person team includes three other advisors and two support staff offering wealth and retirement planning, asset management, business consultation and financial education for companies and associations. At the time of its most recent ADV filing 11 months ago, the firm was managing almost $266 million for 728 individual households.  

The whole team has taken advantage of Berger’s employee stock option plan as part of the deal, according to an announcement.  

“We considered a lot of different business models and deal structures in our search. Making sure our clients and staff were well taken care of was our primary consideration,” Gordon said in a statement. “While this partnership is still young, all our expectations have been met." 

After completing its first acquisition in 2010, the deal is the 18th and largest in Berger’s 43-year history. Representing the firm’s ninth location and the fifth state in which Berger has established a presence, RG&A is continuing to operate under its established brand.   

In addition to portfolio management and financial, retirement and generational wealth planning, Berger offers tax planning and preparation, advisor succession planning, socially responsible investing and women-focused services.  

The firm reported having 60 employees, around half of whom are advisors, serving 2,659 households and around a dozen institutional clients at the time of its most recent ADV filing in mid-November. 

Bay Point Wealth Spins Off New RIA, Curio Wealth Advisors  

Curio Wealth has launched as a new RIA in Annapolis, Md. following the split of Bay Point Wealth, an RIA managing close to $625 million for 450 households and a few retirement plans as recently as October.  

Four members of the Bay Point team have moved to the new firm, which is led by founder and principal Jim Kantowski. Lyn Dippel, Jacob Sadler and Elizabeth Gillette are also principal owners. After filing with the SEC in early November, Curio has yet to report any clients or assets. 

According to an announcement, “significant growth” drove the division, which is intended to allow each firm to focus on specific client needs and provide more personalized services. Per federal filings, Curio and Bay Point both “generally provide investment advice to individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates or charitable organizations, corporations or business entities,” and offer identical billing structures.  

"We employ curiosity to learn our clients' true goals and provide personalized guidance and support," Kantowski said in a statement. "At Curio, it's our job to help clients manage the perpetual uncertainty of life. We are passionate about redefining what it means to meet with a financial advisor." 

Curio’s stated goal is “to integrate financial planning, investment and tax planning and preparation,” according to the firm. This includes “exploring innovative strategies and investment options that address the challenges and opportunities of today's ever-changing financial landscape.” 

Steward Partners Caps Brand Refresh with Shortened Name 

After a decade in business, Steward Partners Global Advisory will now be known simply as Steward Partners.  

The move is the culmination of a brand identity program initiated last year to reflect the firm’s rapid growth from three advisors and $50 million in assets in late 2013 to more than 200 advisors overseeing $32 billion today. In 2023 alone, Steward added more than $6 billion through recruitment, primarily of breakaway wirehouse and bank-based advisors.  

"We have enjoyed tremendous growth during our first decade in terms of our number of partners, assets under management, and available tools and services," Steward co-founder and CEO Jim Gold said in a statement. "Our updated brand identity and logo are designed to build upon our history and culture while reflecting our vision for the future." 

Steward Partners updated its logo and website late last year and introduced a new acquisition model with its purchase of $3 billion AUM Freedom Street Partners.  

Majority owned by advisors, Steward is minority-backed by Cynosure and The Pritzker Organization. In late 2022, the firm received a $140 million credit facility led by alternative investment firm Apogem Capital to support recruitment and, moving forward, acquisitions. 

BOK Financial Appoints New Managing Director of Family Office Services 

Megan Hughes has become the new managing director of Family Office Services in the Private Wealth group at BOK Financial, a financial services holding company based in Tulsa, Okla., with banking divisions in eight states and $105 billion in assets under management and administration.  

Before stepping into her new role on Feb. 1, Hughes was a personal trust manager for BOK subsidiary Bank of Texas in Dallas, where she is based. Prior to joining Bank of Texas in early 2017, she was with Tolleson Wealth Management. 

“We are in the process of substantially increasing the level of services available to our Family Office clients, who will all benefit from Megan’s passion, professionalism, and experience,” BOK Financial Director of Private Wealth Greg Wheeler said in a statement.  

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