Steward Signs $6 Million Indie Team, Largest Since Its Founding
Steward Partners, which clears through Raymond James Financial’s independent brokerage channel but pays wirehouse-type compensation, has lured a $6-million team of independent brokers with a new compensation scheme.
Doug Kentfield, a former Morgan Stanley manager who joined Steward last year to run wealth management, said courting independent practices to what it calls its affiliate channel will help the Washington D.C.-based firm expand into new markets. Profit margins, he insisted, will be “competitive” with what Steward makes from its “employee channel” of about 130 brokers.
Neither he nor the new brokers would comment on their specific payout.
Steward awards its “employee channel” advisors a flat 50% of their revenue and picks up much of their overhead. Payouts for independent contractors at a traditional independent broker-dealer—including RayJay’s own Raymond James Financial Services network—can reach above 90%, but the brokers pick up most of their operational expenses.
The new arrivals said they are willing to accept a lower payout in return for what they expect will be stronger back-office, market, compliance and transition assistance and succession planning support from Steward and from Raymond James, plus the lagniappe of equity in Steward.
“Having this independent group of partners at Steward to support us is worth the payout I’m not getting,” said Rubin, who joined the Royal Alliance team nine years ago from Morgan Stanley’s private wealth management unit and has been a registered rep since 1980.
Briggs, Dolan and Bensinger formed the practice, which they call The Plaza Advisor Group, in 1985. The group was recruited by former Morgan Stanley Texas complex manager Chris Barton.
Briggs and Bensinger began their brokerage careers at Equitex Securities Company in 1982, two years after Dolan, and the trio moved on to Planvest Capital Corp. and Integrated Resources Equity Corp. before joining Royal Alliance in 1989, according to their BrokerCheck histories. Rubin worked at Robinson-Humprhrey, Interstate/Johnson Lane and Smith Barney/Morgan Stanley before joining Royal Alliance in 2011.
The four brokers were members of Royal Alliance’s “Royal Court” recognition club for the top 50 of the firm’s 3,200 brokers, they said. The average annual revenue of a Royal Alliance broker is $258,481, according to its corporate website.
A spokesman for Jersey City, New Jersey-based Royal Alliance did not immediately return a request for comment about the team’s departure.