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RIA Roundup: Snowden Lane Surpasses $10B in Assets

Close to $150 billion in transacted assets was announced this week as milestones were achieved and new territory was conquered.

Recent assertions that M&A activity in the registered investment advisory space is not, in fact, slowing appear to have been borne out yet again this week as more than $140 billion in transacted assets was announced.

Snowden Lane reached $10 billion in client assets with its newest partner; Captrust added its seventh Texas firm; NewEdge Wealth added a team managing a half-billion dollars from UBS; and Dakota Wealth moved into Minnesota with its $575 million AUM Stillwater acquisition.

Meanwhile, a First Republic founding member joined RBC Wealth Management; a five-person team joined Rockefeller from Merrill Lynch; Mariner acquired a financial wellness platform; and Ameriprise announced the addition of a former Edward Jones team.

In earlier reported news, a team from Signature Bank joined Atria subsidiary Cadaret Grant, a team from First Republic joined William Blair, Hightower picked up a $2.3 billion firm in New England, and Franklin Templeton announced plans to acquire Putnam Investments with around $136 billion in assets.

Snowden Lane Surpasses $10B in Assets With Latest Recruit

Snowden Lane Partners, a hybrid RIA partnership platform with 26 affiliates, announced Douglas Gill joined the firm with $420 million in AUM.

Gill will become a partner and managing director with Snowden’s Riverstone Capital Wealth Group in Bethesda, Md. Prior to Snowden Lane, he founded FullArc Wealth Management at CreativeOne Wealth in late 2015, after 17 years in investment management at both Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Earlier in his career, Gill spent 11 years in institutional bond trading at Goldman.

“The depth and breadth of his investment experience, in addition to his expertise in working with entrepreneurs, will be a natural complement to our team’s existing capabilities,” Riverstone Senior Partner Alex Bryer said in a statement.

“I’ve been fortunate to work for a range of firms across the wealth management industry, each of which applied their own approaches, but the emphasis Snowden Lane places on personalized client service made the firm a clear choice as I continue my career in the independent advisory space,” added Gill.

Gill’s arrival brings Snowden to more than $10 billion in client assets.

Founded in 2011, Snowden Lane is majority owned by Estancia Capital Partners and has an expanded credit facility through Orix Corp. The firm has grown rapidly primarily through the recruitment of talent from large firms like Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS and Fieldpoint Private.

Today, New York City–based Snowden Lane comprises 137 total professionals, including 75 financial advisors, across 13 offices around the country.

Captrust Adds $710M AUM Omega Wealth Partners in Fort Worth

Captrust Financial Advisors acquired Omega Wealth Partners in Fort Worth, Texas, a nine-person team managing $710 million for more than 650 clients. 

Co-owned by Tom Hardgrove, John Dickens and Tammy Bryant, Omega will adopt Captrust branding in the deal. It's the fourth acquisition Captrust announced this year, and its second in Texas, following the addition of Monroe Vos, with $5.8 billion in client assets, in March. Collectively, Captrust has added nearly $8 billion in client assets to its platform in the first half of the year through acquisitions.

Founded in 1997, Captrust embarked on an aggressive inorganic growth strategy in 2006. Since then, the firm has completed 67 M&A deals.

Today, Captrust employs more than 1,300 professionals across 75 locations nationwide and oversees more than $714 billion in client assets. The Omega team has established its seventh location in Texas.

UBS Trio Jumps to NewEdge Wealth

NewEdge Wealth, a boutique RIA subsidiary of NewEdge Capital Group focused on serving uber-wealthy clients, has gained a three-person team that managed some $500 million in client assets at UBS.

Richard Ina, who was with UBS for more than 13 years, will become a partner of the firm and establish the first NewEdge office in Nashville, along with associates Alison Ina (his daughter) and Paige Muirhead. 

"Our primary focus is to seek ways to improve our clients' investment performance and taxation on their investments,” Richard Ina said in a statement. “We needed a platform with a broader scope of in-house wealth strategy, enhanced performance reporting, and a sophisticated online experience.”

Prior to UBS, Ina spent more than 20 years with Smith Barney and then Merrill Lynch following their merger more than a decade ago, most recently as senior vice president of wealth management.

NewEdge Wealth was launched as an invite-only, boutique firm under NewEdge Capital Group, created in 2021 after parent company EdgeCo Holdings acquired Goss Advisors to lead its independent wealth management division. The NewEdge ecosystem also includes NewEdge Advisors, a technology and support platform for independent advisors, and NewEdge Securities, which provides institutional trading services and related technology.

Backed by private equity firms Parthenon Capital Partners and Waterfall Asset Management, the firm introduced a new W-2 acquisition model in February.

Today, NewEdge Capital Group comprises more than 300 advisors overseeing tens of thousands of client accounts with around $36 billion in collective assets.  

Dakota Wealth Acquires Stillwater Investment Management, With $575M AUM

Dakota Wealth Management has grown AUM to approximately $3.2 billion—a fivefold increase since the firm was founded five years ago—with the acquisition of Stillwater Investment Management, an RIA managing around $575 million.

Stillwater CEO/CIO James Tonrey Jr. joins Dakota along with his advisory team, Amy Enderlein, Eric Bratvold and his wife, Dana Tonrey. Tonrey Jr. will become a senior managing director in the firm’s first Minnesota office, bringing Dakota to a total of 15 offices in 12 states.

"We add firms intentionally and thoughtfully," Dakota founder and CEO Peter Raimondi said in a statement. "Jim, Amy, Eric, and Dana share our client-centric culture, and I am confident we share the same vision for Dakota's next phase of growth."

First Republic Founding Member Joins RBC Wealth Management

Carmen Castro-Franceschi has joined RBC’s wealth management unit in San Francisco, according to an announcement.

One of nine founding members of First Republic Bank in 1986, Castro-Franceschi worked with ultra-high-net-worth clients in her role as executive managing director of client relationships before making the move to RBC to focus on wealth management as managing director and financial advisor, according to the firm.

“The warm culture, along with the global resources of RBC, were significant attractions for me,” she said in a statement. “I’m extremely impressed with the sophisticated lending and credit capabilities, as well as the universal commitment to delivering an exceptional client experience.”

The move was announced one day after JPMorgan Chase, which bought First Republic after it collapsed and regulators seized control in early May, informed close to 1,000 bank employees they no longer had jobs.

While ambitions to build out its wealth management business mean JPMorgan might not be eager to jettison the estimated 228 First Republic advisors that remain with the firm, Castro-Franceschi is among a host of advisors to voluntarily depart since early spring.

Earlier this week, First Republic lost a founding member overseeing some $2 billion in client assets to Blair Williams. Dozens more have joined firms such as Morgan Stanley, UBS, JP Morgan, Rockefeller and others, but First Republic claims to have retained as much as 90% of its original client assets.

RBC has attracted a significant share of those in the wake of the bank’s collapse, primarily on the West Coast. The hybrid broker/dealer and RIA currently oversees $515 billion in client assets across 2,100 advisors in 42 states.

Five-Person Merrill Lynch Team Joins Rockefeller Capital Management

A team of five has left Merrill Lynch to join Rockefeller Capital Management, the firm announced.

Led by Managing Director Theresa Gorin and Vice President Tyler Ressel, Gorin Ressel Wealth Partners oversaw some $807 million at Merrill, according to Forbes.

In addition to its family office, Rockefeller offers asset management and strategic financial and lifestyle advisory services through its various divisions. The firm was established by CEO Greg Fleming in 2018 as an expansion of the family office created by John D. Rockefeller in 1882, with backing from the Rockefeller family and Viking Global Management.

Rockefeller has nabbed a number of advisors in recent months, including several from the failed First Republic Bank. According to recent Form ADV filings, the firm manages around $57.4 billion in SEC-registered assets.

Mariner Wealth Advisors Acquires Financial Wellness Platform Spring

Mariner Wealth Advisors has acquired a company that provides businesses with financial education, resources and coaching for their employees, in a first-of-its-kind deal for the firm.

Formerly called Spring, the acquisition has been rebranded as Mariner Financial Wellness and offers two primary services for employees—an online portal with educational content, budgeting tools, goal setting and tracking, and a financial health and progress summary, as well as one-on-one financial wellness coaching from a licensed and trained professional.

At the same time, employers will gain access to employee communication resources and insights around engagement, satisfaction levels and more.

“The integration of Spring will greatly complement our current retirement service offerings and will allow us to sustain that impact by making financial advice more accessible to employees across the country,” Mariner CEO Marty Bicknell said in a statement.

According to a recent CreditWise survey, 60% of employees are more likely to stay with an employer that provides resources to help them with their finances.

Mariner Financial Wellness provides immediate benefits to more than 700 plan sponsors served by Mariner advisors and complements the firm’s other wealth management services, according to a company announcement.

Spring was founded in 2015 by CEO Joe Holberg, who will take on the role of managing director at Mariner Wealth and oversee operations for the new business.

“Throughout the entire journey from the foundation of Holberg Financial in 2015, to its rebrand as Spring in 2021, and now to this next phase with Mariner Wealth Advisors, I have relentlessly focused on building and enhancing a platform that improves employees’ financial education and wellness,” said Holberg.

Terms of the deal, which closed in January, were not made public.

Established in 2006 with $300 million in assets, the Overland Park, Kan.–based Mariner now manages more than $110 billion.

Edward Jones Advisor Makes Move to Ameriprise Financial

Early this year, David Sproles left Edward Jones to launch his own practice on the independent channel of Ameriprise Financial in Murfreesboro, Tenn., according to an announcement, bringing with him more than $100 million in client assets.

“We wanted to elevate our client experience and deliver better, easier solutions,” Sproles said in a statement. “We were pleased to find Ameriprise has all the tools, technology, and products in place to help us do just that.”

“My clients have been delighted by the digital experience at Ameriprise and really appreciate the online client portal and app,” he said.

Sproles also pointed to the fact that the Ameriprise model allows him to put in place a plan that will keep the business in the family. His son, Houston Sproles, has joined as a financial planning assistant and the firm’s eventual successor.

“Clients have told us how relieved they are knowing who will take care of them when I eventually retire,” he said.

Practice Manager and Client Support Specialist Andrea Meade, who has been working with Sproles for nine years, joined him at the new practice—Sproles Wealth Management.

Ameriprise has had about 1,700 advisors join in the last five years, according to the announcement, and has a nationwide network of around 10,000. The firm oversees around $414 billion in SEC-registered assets for nearly 1.2 billion clients, according to a recent Form ADV filing.

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