$20-Million UBS Team Jumps to Start RIA
A New York-based UBS Wealth Management USA team managing about $4.5 billion of client assets has broken away to start a registered investment advisory firm.
Formerly known as Turnstone Wealth Management, the 12-person team left en masse on Friday to start NewEdge Wealth in Darien, CT, as an affiliate of EdgeCo Holdings’ new push into wealth management.
EdgeCo, a 401(k) and trust administrator and custodian that also owns broker-dealer Mid Atlantic Capital, earlier this year bought Private Wealth Partners, a firm started by former UBS and Morgan Stanley private wealth executive John Straus to steer ultra-high-net-worth wirehouse brokers to independence. His son, John, Jr., is an advisor on the breakaway team.
The UBS group has been exploring independence for several years at the behest of its approximately 100 family clients who were seeking a broader range of family-office services and products than wirehouses offer, said Sechan, 51, who has worked with Kobernick since the mid-1990s at Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers.
“This is just the way the ball is bouncing for ultra-wealthy families,” said Sechan, who has been with UBS since 2008. “UBS’s platform was terrific, but it was UBS’s platform.”
A UBS spokesman declined to comment.
The decision to hitch to a relatively new wealth management enterprise—Straus’s Private Wealth Partners had a single group of advisors using its platform when it sold itself to EdgeCo, Sechan said—came in part through a mutual friendship that went beyond the Straus family relationship. Sechan said he is close friends with Chuck Warden, a member of EdgeCo’s board, and was persuaded that the team can use the new platform to attract more advisors.
EdgeCo is based in Pittsburgh, as is Federated Securities, the asset management firm where Sechan got his start.
“As client needs evolve, so too must the firm itself, or advisors will miss the mark on providing the highest quality service to their clients,” Warden said in a prepared statement. “Today’s ultra-high-net-worth investors need access to creative solutions, advanced resources and cutting-edge technology to succeed.”
To attract advisors, Sechan said he anticipates being able to offer equity in the venture, along with the pitch about the superiority of PWP’s platform technology. He said he has six meetings with prospects lined up.
In addition to Sechan and Kobernick, who is in his mid-60s and who worked at UBS from an office in Florida as well as midtown Manhattan, the team includes Straus, Jr., and Walter Granruth.
The younger Straus, a three-time Forbes’ “Top Next-Gen” advisor started his career in 2010 at UBS. Granruth, a 20-year brokerage veteran, began his career at DLJ/Credit Suisse, and joined UBS in 2002
The new RIA is using Fidelity Investments as its custodian, and the advisors have registered with Mid Atlantic Capital for their brokerage business.