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Advisor Moves

Recruiting Wrap: Cetera Adds $300-Mln Lincoln Team, Stifel Hires Wells Duo With $239 Mln

7/27/21 | Advisor Moves, News

Cetera nabbed a Pennsylvania team led by Kim Brumbaugh from Lincoln Financial Advisors while Stifel hired Washington duo Tim Devlin and Michael Jeremiah from Wells Fargo Advisors.

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Miami broker Jorge A. Sonville joined Insigneo Securities on July 19 after being terminated from Merrill Lynch

Insigneo Reels in Fired Merrill Broker Who Co-Led $2 Billion-AUM Int’l Group

7/26/21 | Advisor Moves, Most Read, News | 4 Comments

Jorge A. Sonville, who had put in 26 years at Merrill until he was ousted in June for alleged undisclosed outside business activities, has landed at Insigneo in Miami.

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Marty Bicknell

RIA Deal Round-Up: Bicknell’s Mariner to Buy $5.1 Billion-AUM AdvicePeriod

7/23/21 | News

RIA founders Marty Bicknell and Steve Lockshin, longtime friends and frequent co-investors in FinTech ventures, are pairing up their firms to create a $40 billion-AUM giant.

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advisors

J.P. Morgan Private Bank Adds to Ranks in NYC with Spate of Hires

7/23/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 2 Comments

Five new hires into J.P. Morgan private bank in New York City include UBS and Citi defectors, and Dynasty Financial Partners’ former chief investment officer.

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The Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts Charges Schwab for Allowing Ex-RIA to Collect Fees After Licensed Lapsed

7/21/21 | Enforcement, News

The state’s regulator brought charges against Schwab over “unethical and deceptive” practices that allegedly allowed an ex-advisor to collect at least $125,000 in fees from Schwab customers after his registration lapsed in 2014.

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Advisor and Finra ruling

UBS Broker Sued By Morgan Stanley Agrees to Customer Solicitation Ban

7/21/21 | News | 7 Comments

Michael Crotty, who joined Morgan Stanley’s Smith Barney predecessor in 2007 and moved to rival UBS earlier this month, agreed to Morgan Stanley’s bid to block him from reaching out to customers governed by teaming agreements.

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Jeffrey Prince, Jodie Cohen and Steven Bailin, formerly with Morgan Stanley, have joined LPL Financial through its Strategic Wealth Services model for wirehouse breakaways.

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Fired Over Account Coding Issue Joined at LPL by Former Colleagues

7/20/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 15 Comments

The three-broker Los Angeles-based team, which had managed $700 million in client assets, has reassembled at LPL Financial’s fledgling channel for wirehouse breakaways.

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advisors

$18-Mln UBS Team Led by Top-Ranked Alabama Broker Breaks Away to Launch RIA

7/19/21 | Breakaway Center, News | 12 Comments

UBS team led by Tony R. Smith in Birmingham had managed $4.4 billion in assets and launched Stonegate Investment Group.

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Merrill Wealth President Andy Sieg

Merrill’s Sieg Nods to ‘Competitive’ Attrition Issue in Call with Brokers

7/15/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 51 Comments

Merrill’s president, on a quarterly pre-recorded call to brokers, singled out “competitive” attrition as an area “needing focus from leadership,” also noting that it was “higher this quarter than we’d like to see.”

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Headcount

Wells Fargo Tallies 10% Drop in Advisor Headcount Over Last Year

7/15/21 | News | 11 Comments

Headcount was down 1,387 year over year and 458 quarter over quarter, spurred by exits by international-focused advisors ahead of the bank’s closure of its foreign wealth business.

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TRO court

Morgan Stanley Looks to Restrain $2.75-Mln Producer in CO and NJ Who Left for UBS

7/14/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 7 Comments

Mike Crotty, who had joined Morgan Stanley’s Smith Barney predecessor in 2007, moved to rival UBS last week, but not before giving some clients a heads-up he was leaving, the wirehouse claims in a suit.

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Advisor moves

Stifel Gains Merrill and Wells Brokers in NV and CA, Loses $2-Mln Duo in TX

7/13/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 9 Comments

The St. Louis firm scored veteran hires from Merrill and Wells in the Las Vegas area and Newport Beach, Calif. Wells, meanwhile, hired from Stifel a $2 million-producing duo from an Austin, Texas suburb.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

RIA M&A Roundup: $1Bn-Plus-AUM Deals Abound in 2021’s Second Half

7/9/21 | News

RIAs with $1 billion or more in client assets under management are flying off the shelves as serial acquirers appear to accelerate aggressive dealmaking pace.

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Puerto Rico

UBS Broker Wins Expungement of 6 Puerto Rico Bonds Disputes, but 19 Remain on Record

7/9/21 | News

San Juan, Puerto Rico-based broker Xavier A. Aguayo was granted each of his six expungement requests by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrator.

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Financial Advisor Team

Merrill Moves: $441 Million-AUM Duo Leaves to Go Indie, Chase Private Client Advisors Hired in NY

7/8/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 7 Comments

Chad Goodchild and Jacob Schlict, who had spent their entire brokerage careers with Merrill Lynch, left the wirehouse to start their own New York RIA through TruClarity Wealth Advisors.

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Female Judge

Sanctuary Ordered to Pay $530K Over Supervisory Failures at Broker-Dealer

7/6/21 | News

Sanctuary Wealth’s brokerage arm was ordered to pay more than $530,000 in fines and restitution over supervisory failures relating to sales of non-traditional ETFs and monitoring of brokers’ outside business activities.

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Matthew Salvitti, David Elliott and Tim Pippet have left J.P. Morgan Private Bank to join the business’ former CEO Kelly Coffey at City National Bank in Radnor, Penn.

J.P. Morgan Private Bankers Rejoin Former Boss at City National in PA

7/2/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 2 Comments

The three-banker team left to relink with former J.P. Morgan Private Bank CEO Kelly Coffey at City National, an RBC-owned firm.

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Arbitration

Ex-J.P. Morgan Brokers Push for $4-Mln Settlement with Grandmother in Schottenstein Case

7/1/21 | News | 2 Comments

Brothers Evan A. and Avi E. Schottenstein have asked a court to enforce a $4 million settlement with their grandmother that represents less than half the $9.8 million that they had been ordered to pay in arbitration.

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UBS

UBS: No Return-to-Office Mandate For U.S. Brokers

6/30/21 | News | 10 Comments

The wirehouse told its roughly 6,000 advisors that it plans to make its flexible work arrangements adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic permanent for U.S. brokers.

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Privacy Ruling Finra

Cetera to Pay $125K for Customer Privacy Issues Tied to Recruiting

6/29/21 | Enforcement, News | 2 Comments

The fine and censure agreed to by Cetera Advisor Networks mirrored previous sanctions against Securities America and Kestra Investment Services over broker recruits who shared client details with a third party vendor.

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Finra sign

Finra Fines Climbed 44%; Exec Pay Stays Flat

6/28/21 | Enforcement, News | 3 Comments

CEO and President Robert Cook’s total pay dipped slightly to $3.12 million in the pandemic year while the regulator also said it collected $17.5 million more in fines and posted a net profit of $19.8 million

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NYC Broker Greengrass Owes J.P. Morgan $450K After ‘Unjust Enrichment’ Claim Backfires

6/23/21 | News | 5 Comments

Broker who is the grandson of the founder of the storied Barney Greengrass deli in Manhattan had claimed in a $13 million suit that another employee poached his largest client.

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J.P. Morgan Private Bank Head in CA Exits, Another Banker Jumps to UBS in TX

6/22/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

Christine Leong Connors, who in 2012 assumed leadership of Northern California for J.P. Morgan’s private bank, left to “pursue outside opportunities,” a memo said.

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Ria-Roll-Up-Creative-Planning-Sells-Stake-To-Pe-Firm-General-Atlantic-

BRIEF: PE Firm KKR Looks to Cash Out of Focus Financial

6/21/21 | News

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. plans to take all of its Focus Financial chips off the table by selling its remaining 7 million-plus shares in the publicly-traded RIA financing company.

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$6.7-Mln Wells Team in Maryland Departs for LPL’s Breakaway Channel

6/21/21 | Advisor Moves, News

The Wells team, led by 47-year industry vet Larry Boggs, is the eighth group to join LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services since the channel’s launch last April.

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Advisor and Finra ruling

UBS Alleges Arbitrator Bias, Asks Court to Toss $4.8-Mln P.R. Bond Award

6/21/21 | News

One of two arbitrators who had ruled against UBS “seemingly intentionally” failed to disclose he had been a plaintiff in several cases against large corporations, which signaled a possible bias, UBS argued.

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Denver, Colorado

Cresset Hires J.P. Morgan Private Banking Team in Mile High City

6/17/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 4 Comments

The group is led by Kevin E. McGuire, who had helmed the private bank’s Colorado Technology Vertical and Boulder Team from Denver.

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Advisor moves

RayJay Chief Says Recruiting Back on Track, Firm Lands $871 Mln-AUM Merrill Team

6/16/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 3 Comments

A Salt Lake City-based team’s four brokers spent more than 100 years combined with the “Thundering Herd” before leaving for Raymond James’ employee channel in May.

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Puzzle Wealth Solutions

$8.2-Mln UBS Team Goes Indie with LPL Affiliate Gladstone

6/15/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

The 10-person Chicagoland team had been managing $1.2 billion in assets, according to an announcement.

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Judge rules

Morgan Stanley Claws Back $600k in Notes from Fired Florida Broker

6/11/21 | News

Thomas J. Hagan, a 36-year broker terminated from the wirehouse in January over allegations that he failed to confirm non-discretionary trades with clients, did not appear in the Finra arbitration proceedings.

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Phone call

Plaintiff in Fisher Telemarketing Case Revises Claims After Pushback from the Mega-RIA

6/10/21 | News

The Camas, Washington RIA appears to have been successful in batting down a claim it used an automatic dialing system to make allegedly unsolicited calls to thousands of prospective clients.

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Beverly Schottenstein-772x485

Schottenstein Settlement Talks Fizzle; Grandmother Reopens Case Against Ex-J.P. Morgan Brokers

6/9/21 | News

J.P. Morgan Securities has paid “all of its financial obligations” under the high-profile arbitration award, which held the firm responsible for roughly half of the $19 million total, a court filing said.

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Advisor Moves

Wells Nabs $2.3-Mln Merrill Team in NYC, $1.1-Mln Morgan Stanley Producer in CA

6/8/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 4 Comments

New York City-based duo includes Vincent Roth and John Fiorita, who had spent the majority of their careers going back and forth between Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

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Judge and gavel

Ex-Merrill Broker Suspended for KYC Violation Involving Foreign Account

6/7/21 | News | 3 Comments

Broker who was fired from Merrill in 2017 allegedly opened an account for a non-U.S. citizen residing in Korea and falsely certified that the customer was a U.S. citizen residing in New Jersey, according to a letter of settlement.

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GOLDMAN SACHS logo

Goldman’s Fledgling RIA Custody Biz Signs on Steward Partners–Sources

6/4/21 | News

The bank’s nascent RIA custody unit reached an agreement to custody assets for Steward Partners, an independent firm previously associated only with Raymond James Financial Services, two sources with knowledge of the deal said.

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Advisor Moves

Wire Wars: Morgan Stanley Sweeps Up $3.7-Mln UBS Team in Louisiana and Florida

6/3/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 4 Comments

The five-person team, led by brokers Hugh Fisher, Ross Woodring and Elmo “Skip” Zornes, left for Morgan Stanley on May 12, according to registration records.

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Advisors

Another Day, Another J.P. Morgan Private Bank Team Joins UBS

6/2/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 11 Comments

A six-person San Francisco-based team with $10.5 billion is at least the eighth to make the private bank-to-UBS voyage since October.

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FINRA

20-Year UBS Vet Wins Expungement of YES Option Complaint

6/1/21 | News | 2 Comments

Finra arbitrator said the Greenville, S.C.-based broker’s recommendation, which related to the wirehouse’s embattled Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES), was “in all respects” suitable.

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Morgan Stanley’s Vince Lumia Sees Rise of the “Mega” Team Post-Pandemic

5/28/21 | News | 7 Comments

The wirehouse’s head of field management made the case for big teams getting bigger.

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Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Wire Wars: $1.4-Mln Merrill Family Team Leaves for Morgan Stanley in Florida

5/27/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 11 Comments

The four-person team, led by 29-year veteran broker Ziad Habayeb and his nephew Emile Habayeb, joined Morgan Stanley in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month.

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Christian Habitz and Sarah Damsgaard, a brother-sister team overseeing $1 billion in assets, left J.P. Morgan Securities last week to launch an RIA via Dynasty Financial Partners.

$1 Billion-AUM Brother-Sister Team Leaves J.P. Morgan to Launch RIA

5/26/21 | Advisor Moves, News

Christian Habitz and Sarah Damsgaard, who had been with J.P. Morgan Advisors since 2015, respectively, left the firm last week

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advisor moves

Morgan Stanley Nets 24-Year Merrill Lifer in NYC And ‘Boomerang’ in N.C

5/25/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 9 Comments

Brian G. Surdoval, a 24-year Merrill veteran, jumped to Morgan Stanley’s Park Central branch in midtown Manhattan, while Timothy B. Wilson in Raleigh, N.C. is rejoining the firm after a 9-year run with the Thundering Herd.

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Judge rules

Ed Jones Restrains Texas Broker Who Set Up RayJay Shop Next Door

5/25/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 10 Comments

A federal judge granted Edward Jones’ TRO request against Russell R. Riggan, and scheduled a June 7 hearing on the brokerage’s motion for preliminary injunction.

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Mergers-Acquisitions

RIA Roundup: Edelman Revs its M&A Engine as 3 Dealmakers Lace into Big Spender CI

5/21/21 | News | 2 Comments

Edelman Financial Engines said it was buying a $846 million-asset RIA in the Seattle area, and dealmakers at three serial acquirers dug at CI Financial over ‘unheard of’ multiples it’s allegedly been paying during its year-and-a-half buying spree.

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UBS Bank

UBS Hires Another Private Banking Team, This Time a $20-Mln Indy Group

5/20/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

A team of J.P. Morgan private bankers in Indianapolis marks at least the seventh team hire from the private bank for the wirehouse since October.

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Advisors

UBS Continues Pursuit of Private Bankers with $10.2-Mln J.P. Morgan TX Team

5/19/21 | Advisor Moves, News

Fort Worth duo credited with managing $1.8 billion joined UBS in April and May following garden leave terms.

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Financial advisor fired for Black Lives Matter confrontation

Morgan Stanley Said to Fire R.I. Broker over Inherited Accounts as Others Find New Homes

5/18/21 | News | 3 Comments

Brokers discharged last month from Morgan Stanley over alleged abuses have relocated to Advisor Group-owned Woodbury Financial Services and Oppenheimer & Co.

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Advisor moves

Rockefeller Snatches $9.2-Mln UBS Beantown Team

5/17/21 | Advisor Moves, News

The five-person practice, led by 35-year industry veteran Laurence Knowlton, his son Griffin Knowlton, and Wyatt Larsen, is Rockefeller’s first private wealth team in Boston.

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CI Financial

RIA M&A Roundup: CI Financial Nabs $5.1 Billion-Asset RIA

5/14/21 | News

A San Diego RIA is CI Financial’s latest large-AUM acquisition, marking the Canadian asset manager’s fifth announced deal of 2021.

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Puerto Rico

UBS Hit With $4.8 Million Arb Award in Puerto Rico Bond Case

5/14/21 | News

The claimants had requested $15 million in damages in the proceeding, in which one of the three arbitrators partially dissented to the damages awarded.

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Birmingham, Alabama.

$2.7-Mln Merrill Brothers Go Indie with Alabama RIA

5/13/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 11 Comments

Brothers Stephen and James Miller, who last year took over their father’s practice in Birmingham, moved their four-person team to EverSource Wealth Advisors’ RIA platform.

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Advisors

J.P. Morgan Loses $8-Mln Team to Morgan Stanley, Wins Merrill Broker in NYC

5/12/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 11 Comments

A $1 billion-asset team left last week for Morgan Stanley but J.P. Morgan Advisors this week picked up a $230 million-asset veteran broker from Merrill Lynch.

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Two Financial Advisors

Wire Wars: Wells Hires Merrill Duos with Combined $4.5-Mln in TX, CA

5/11/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

Brokers Christopher R. Davis and Deryl H. McGallion, producing $3 million in annual revenue in southeastern Texas, and Chien Nguyen and Danny Nguyen, producing $1.5 million in California, joined Wells last week.

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(Left to right) Nancy Barrett, Michelle Harvey and Amanda Woo joined UBS Private Wealth Management in San Francisco last week.

UBS Nabs $4.7-Mln Merrill Trio, BofA Private Bank Team on West Coast

5/10/21 | Advisor Moves, News

The wirehouse’s new hires include a Merrill resident director to oversee its Roseville, CA office and a Bank of America private bank team touted by a source as “one of the largest” in the Bay Area.

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Finra ruling

Wells Indie Broker Sold His Book, Then Wooed Back Clients: Lawsuit

5/10/21 | News | 3 Comments

TSG Wealth Management, a $4.6 billion practice, claims the broker, Rahamin “Rocky” Suares, a 38-year industry veteran in Southern California, promised to retire as part of a $3-million deal but instead has been soliciting clients to move to his new firm.

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Merger and Acquisitions

This Week in RIA M&A: Creative Planning Snaps Up $5 Bln-Asset RIA in Virginia

5/7/21 | News

The first week of May brought Overland Park, Kansas-based Creative Planning its largest acquisition by AUM in its history, while CI Financial also cut a deal for one of its RIAs.

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Focus CEO Predicts RIA M&A Surge from Tax Hike Fears, Advisor Succession

5/6/21 | News

Focus Financial Partners Chief Executive Rudy Adolf forecasts 250-300 deals a year across the industry, well above the 200-plus deals completed annually in recent record-setting years.

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Senior and Junior Advisors

Morgan Stanley Fires Manager, $2-Mln Father-Daughter Duo Over Inherited Account Credits

5/2/21 | News | 12 Comments

A branch manager in Terre Haute, Indiana, and a father-daughter team in Wellesley, Massachusetts, were discharged over alleged abuses of the wirehouse’s inherited account program, according to filings and people familiar with the matter.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

This Week in RIA M&A: Wealth Enhancement Group Buys $1.6 Bln-Asset CA Firm

4/30/21 | News

In the final week of April, aggregator Wealth Enhancement Group said it would add its first West Coast firm while other private equity-backed RIA buyers also cut deals.

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Financial Advisors moving firms

Morgan Stanley Nabs Citi Personal Wealth Brokers in NY, CT

4/30/21 | News | 2 Comments

The Marcus Group, led by 23-year industry veteran Seth Marcus, will have offices on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and in Stamford, Connecticut, while solo advisor Nicholas Crocitto also joins in Stamford.

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Charlie O’Neil, Tom Paulson, Nadine Haufe, Steve Gatto and Tuck Holman left Merrill Lynch to join RBC Wealth Management-U.S. in the Chicago suburbs this week.

RBC Scores $2 Billion-Asset Merrill Team in Chicago Suburbs

4/29/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

The eight-person team led by veteran wirehouse brokers Thomas A. Paulson, William “Tuck” Holman and Steven E. Gatto, left for RBC on Thursday.

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Amazon

Morgan Stanley, Veteran Broker Dinged $800k Over Amazon Short

4/28/21 | News

Arbitrators awarded the claimant, an Israel-based company, far less than the roughly $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages it sought in the dispute over the allegedly unsuitable trades.

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Advisor Headcount

Stifel Headcount Slips Amid Recruiting Slowdown

4/27/21 | News

But Chief Executive Ron Kruszewski said he expects a resurgence in recruiting activity on the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Marty Bicknell

Marty Bicknell’s Mariner Sells Minority Stake to L.A. Buyout Shop

4/26/21 | News

The sale to Leonard Green & Partners will allow the Mariner founder’s family holding company to take some money off the table, but Bicknell will remain majority owner of the firm.

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Judge rules

J.P. Morgan Quickly Secures TRO Against Five Bank Brokers Who Joined LPL

4/23/21 | News | 3 Comments

Five former Chase Bank branch advisors in Illinois who left this month had already convinced 48 clients with $59 million in assets to join them at their new firm, the bank claims.

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Advisors

RBC, Stifel Add Merrill Lifers in NY, NM

4/22/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 18 Comments

Broker who began his career with Merrill in 1995 after graduating from college said the pandemic presented an opportunity for a “fresh start.”

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Board Meeting

Blucora Shareholders Shoot Down Activist’s Bid for Board Seats

4/22/21 | News

The Dallas-based parent of tax-centric broker-dealer Avantax was successful in fending off a proxy fight rare in the independent brokerage arena.

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(left to right) Brian Beraha, Alexis Audisio, Jared Pillar, Michelle Gonzalez, Horacio Aguirre and Vicente Del Rio moved to UBS's private wealth business in Miami from J.P. Morgan's private bank.

UBS Nabs $11-Mln J.P. Morgan Private Bank Team in Florida, Another in Ohio

4/21/21 | Advisor Moves, Chairs, News | 1 Comment

Led by advisors Brian Beraha and Vicente del Rio, the six-person Florida team managed $5 billion in client assets at J.P. Morgan’s private bank.

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Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley Sells E*Trade RIA Custody Unit for $55 Million

4/20/21 | News | 4 Comments

Axos Financial’s acquisition of E*Trade Advisor Services includes about 200 RIA clients and $23 billion in assets under custody.

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Merrill Lynch Exterior Sign and Logo

Merrill Recruits Citi Private Banker in SF, Loses Teams to Janney, Sanctuary

4/19/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 2 Comments

Merrill Lynch hired a team said to be managing $17 billion in client assets at Citi but on the same day lost a $1.35 billion-asset Maryland team to Janney and a $350 million-asset Connecticut team to independence

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Pay cut

Focus Financial Cuts Exec Comp, CEO Pay Falls 16.6%

4/16/21 | News

CEO Rudy Adolf’s total compensation package was valued at nearly $​5.7 million in 2020, down from $6.8 million the previous year.

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Financial Advisors Leaving

Rockefeller Lures $2.2-Million Merrill Team in Michigan

4/16/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 14 Comments

The four-person Low Group in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., left Merrill on Friday

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Two Financial Advisors

UBS Hires $3-Million J.P. Morgan Advisors Duo in NYC

4/15/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

Manhattan-based brokers Matthew Hoffman and Scott Rappaport, who managed a $1.4 billion book at J.P. Morgan, moved a block north on Park Avenue to UBS.

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Advisor Moves

D.A. Davidson Nabs $2.6-Mln Truist Team in Virginia

4/14/21 | Advisor Moves, News

The three-advisor, legacy BB&T Securities team had managed $400 million in client assets at Truist in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

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Woman in jail

Ex-Schwab Customer Arrested after Using Errant Payment to Buy Car, House–Reports

4/13/21 | News | 3 Comments

Kelyn Spadoni, 33, of Harvey, Louisiana, allegedly refused to return the money, which Schwab said was wrongfully sent after a “software enhancement” mistake.

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Phone call

Fisher Investments Faces Class Claim over Cold-Calling Violations

4/12/21 | News | 9 Comments

The $159 billion-AUM Camas, Washington RIA allegedly made thousands of calls to prospective clients using an automatic telephone dialing system in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

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(Left to right): Joel Gray, William Joshua (Josh) Brown, Scott Thompson and James “Jake” Cluverius, Jr. have left Merrill Lynch to launch a new practice, NorthEnd Private Wealth, with LPL Financial.

LPL Lures Merrill Team with $650 Mln-AUM to Nascent Breakaway Channel

4/12/21 | Advisor Moves, Breakaway Center, News | 8 Comments

NorthEnd Private Wealth, led by four former Merrill Lynch brokers in Greenville, S.C., is the sixth team to join LPL Financial’s Strategic Wealth Services model.

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Advisor in Court

25 Years Later, RIA Executive Clears His Brokerage Record

4/8/21 | News | 1 Comment

Michael Nessim, CEO of RIA aggregator Kingswood Acquisition Corp., wins expungement of a $30,000 settlement over a stop-loss order reached in his rookie year as a broker.

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Advisor Moves

Fired Edward Jones Broker Claims Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination

4/7/21 | News | 1 Comment

A former Edward Jones financial advisor in Texas claims in a lawsuit that she was fired following a “forced sexual encounter” with another advisor during her training.

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Financial Advisor Moves

Raymond James Reels in $2 Mln Florida Team from Merrill

4/6/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 7 Comments

Advisor Robert Brust and client manager Jodie Nutter, based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, left Merrill Lynch for Raymond James in February.

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Advisor Moves

Kingswood U.S. Names SPAC Leader Michael Nessim CEO

4/6/21 | News

Former CEO Derek Bruton, who took the firm’s helm in May 2020, announced last week that he was stepping down from the role.

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Advisor Moves

Rockefeller Nabs $3.8-Million UBS Team in Texas

4/5/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 10 Comments

Trio who had overseen $630 million in customer assets marks the 50th team to join Rockefeller since its 2018 recapitalization by Viking Global.

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Meeting

This Week in RIA M&A: Beacon Pointe Lassoes $1.2-Bln AUM TX RIA, Captrust Grows in CA

4/1/21 | News

Beacon deal is its largest in the firm’s history by assets while Captrust scooped up a $700 million-asset investment advisory firm in Sacramento.

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Fired Morgan Stanley Brokers Blame Law Firm for Botched Move

4/1/21 | News | 3 Comments

Christopher Armstrong and Randall Kiefner, fired from Morgan Stanley just weeks after joining from Charles Schwab & Co., seek $25 million in malpractice suit against law firm that advised on the transition.

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Mistake

Whoops: Schwab Sues Former Customer It Accidentally Sent $1.2 Million

3/31/21 | News | 25 Comments

Schwab claims the client is refusing to return the money, which it says was wrongfully sent after a “software enhancement” mistake.

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Advisor leaving

Roll-up Kingswood U.S. And CEO Derek Bruton Part Ways

3/30/21 | News

Industry veteran says he’s leaving San Diego-based Kingswood U.S. less than a year after his former business was acquired in order to “pursue other professional endeavors.”

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Edward Jones

Exclusive: Edward Jones Pilots Shared Office Space for Brokers

3/29/21 | News | 2 Comments

In break from its longstanding single-broker branch model, financial advisors will be able to co-locate under a new program Edward Jones is testing and that is being rolled out to select advisors this week.

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Two Financial Advisors

First Republic Recruits Young Morgan Stanley Duo in L.A.

3/29/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

Dominique Jordan, 30, and Isaac Richard III, 28, who were profiled in August for being one of Morgan Stanley’s youngest-ever Black teams, mark the third group to join First Republic this year.

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Financial Advisor in prison

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Sentenced to 5 Years for $6-Mln Fraud

3/26/21 | News | 9 Comments

Michael Barry Carter, a former Morgan Stanley broker, is heading to federal prison for five years for bilking investors out of at least $6.15 million.

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African American Advisor

Edward Jones to Settle Race Discrimination Suit for $34 Million

3/25/21 | News | 1 Comment

The case, brought in 2018, alleged “widespread” discrimination against Black advisors and focused on Jones’ practice of recouping training costs and its inherited account programs.

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Ex-Jones Broker Suspended for Attempting DIY Settlement with Client

3/25/21 | Enforcement, News

Finra also fined the Iowa-based broker $5,000 for trying to settle the claim without his firm’s knowledge.

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Pay Cut

LPL Trims CEO Arnold’s Pay to $7.25 Million

3/23/21 | News | 3 Comments

Dan Arnold’s total pay dropped 5.4% in 2020 as LPL Financial’s profits fell below bonus targets, but Richard Steinmeier, president of the independent broker-dealer’s business development division, got a 9.9% bump in compensation.

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Houston Texas

Former Morgan Stanley Texas Manager Signs with RIA

3/22/21 | Advisor Moves, News

Ex-Morgan Stanley regional manager Ronald Thacker, who left the wirehouse in January last year, has resurfaced as president of Houston-based registered investment advisory firm, Americana Partners.

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Advisor Guilty

Ex-Merrill Broker in Chicago Pleads Guilty to $3-Mln Fraud

3/22/21 | Enforcement, News | 17 Comments

Marcus Boggs, a former Merrill Lynch broker who was arrested in 2019, admitted to using clients’ money for travel, expensive meals, and rent and mortgage payments.

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Boardroom

This Week in RIA M&A: CI Buys Brightworth, Edelman Returns to PE Well

3/19/21 | News

Toronto-based serial acquirer CI Financial strikes again, purchasing a $4.7 billion-asset registered investment advisory firm in Atlanta, as Edelman Financial Engines secures a fresh round of capital and $7.3 billion valuation.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

Rare Proxy Fight Erupts in Independent Firm Universe

3/19/21 | News

Registered investment advisory firm Ancora is seeking four seats on the board of Blucora, parent of CPA-focused broker-dealer Avantax Wealth Management, urging it to sell its tax software business and focus on the RIA segment.

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Casey Marsh, Susan Farlow, Ashley Monk, Michelle Thomas, Rick Corman and Austin Poston (pictured left to right) of Executive Wealth Partners at UBS Private Wealth Management in Kenwood, Ohio.

UBS Lands Merrill Private Wealth Team in Ohio Managing $750 Million

3/16/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 8 Comments

A four-person team at Merrill Lynch left to partner up with an existing UBS team in Kenwood, Ohio.

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Accountable

Who’s to Blame? Ex-Merrill Brokers Win Expungement of Structured Notes Complaint

3/15/21 | News | 2 Comments

Brokers George Ewins and Richard Kowalski were not responsible for Merrill Lynch’s “failure” to properly disclose fixed costs in a structured notes product that led to steep losses, a Finra arbitrator ruled.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

This Week in RIA M&A: CI to Add $2.5 Billion-AUM Firm, Mercer Buys $740-Mln RIA

3/12/21 | News

CI Financial announces its 15th deal for a registered investment advisory firm in as many months while Mercer Advisors unveils its eighth deal in 2021.

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Advisors

First Republic Snatches Mega Citi Team with $14 Million Production

3/12/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 3 Comments

The 10-person group had been overseeing $2.9 billion in assets and is based out of New York City and Boca Raton, Florida.

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Advisors

Wirehouse Wars: UBS Nabs $5.9-Mln Morgan Stanley Team in Houston

3/11/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 2 Comments

Brothers Grant and Scott Fortney, with team partner Michael B. Nichley, were managing a $1.1 billion book at Morgan Stanley’s private wealth unit.

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Sleeping judges

Ex-J.P. Morgan Brokers Seek to Vacate $19-Mln Award, Cite Napping Arbitrators on Zoom

3/9/21 | News

Former brokers claim that the “arbitration process broke down” over the five weeks of virtual hearings and arbitrators “exceeded their powers” in failing to postpone hearings, according to a federal court filing.

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Courtney Kasenchak, J.R. Confer, Allen Kiessling and Brandy Plocinski (left to right) of The Kiessling Group left Merrill Lynch for Janney Montgomery Scott last week.

Janney Scoops Up $1.65-Mln Merrill Team in Pennsylvania

3/9/21 | News | 12 Comments

Allen Kiessling, who started his brokerage career in 2005 with Merrill Lynch, left the wirehouse with his $320 million-asset team last week.

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Morgan Stanley’s Tucson, Arizona branch, via Google Maps.

Morgan Stanley Bags $3.5 Million Wells Int’l Team in Arizona

3/8/21 | Advisor Moves, News

Also last week, the wirehouse underscored its focus on recruiting Wells international brokers by hiring back a Wells manager in Miami.

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Fast Advisor

This Week in RIA M&A: Focus Adds Partner Firm as Other PE-Backed Buyers Strike

3/5/21 | News

The first week of March saw Rudy Adolf’s Focus add its third partner firm of the year while other private equity-backed acquirers of RIAs continued their spending streaks.

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Adrianne Hoy, Edward Dawson, Kyle Dawson, Patty Bribiesca and Katherine Tawoda left Wells Fargo for UBS in San Diego last month.

Goin’ Up? Wells Fargo Team Moves Seven Floors to UBS in San Diego

3/5/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 9 Comments

Edward Dawson, a 37-year industry veteran, has moved his Wells Fargo team to the 21st floor of the same downtown San Diego building to join UBS.

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Advisor Incentives

Recruiting Loans Climb at Ameriprise, LPL

3/3/21 | News

Ameriprise recorded a 10.8% year-over-year increase in forgivable recruiting loans in 2020, while LPL’s loan balances climbed 24%.

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Armando A. Ureña (center), formerly a Wells Fargo Advisors managing director, was recruited by Snowden Lane Partners to join its office in Coral Gables, Florida.

Snowden Snags Wells Fargo Int’l Broker Managing $360 Million in Miami

3/2/21 | Advisor Moves, News

Armando Ureña and his team in Coral Gables switched to Snowden Lane Partners ahead of Wells’ shuttering of its foreign client business.

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Didi Nicolas, Merrill

Merrill Names Nevada Market Head, Loses Producing Manager in New Jersey

3/2/21 | Breakaway Center, News | 4 Comments

Didi Nicolas, a 27-year veteran hired from Morgan Stanley in 2018, was promoted to oversee Merrill Lynch’s Nevada market that includes around 150 brokers.

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Merrill advisors Alpesh R. Patel, Matthew Birkett and Darren Siegrist moved to Rockefeller along with client associates Hai Dang and Chris Iwamasa.

Merrill Loses $3-Mln Team to Rockefeller in CA, $2-Mln Group to Texas RIA

2/26/21 | Advisor Moves, Breakaway Center, News | 27 Comments

Group joining Rockefeller in Irvine had generated $3 million in revenue and follows Rockefeller’s hire last week of a $2.5 million Merrill team in Denver.

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Employee Applause

Focus Financial’s PE Backers Eye $323 Million Pay Day with Stock Sale

2/26/21 | News

Focus also said on Thursday it will add Prairie Capital Management, a registered investment advisor with $5 billion in assets under advisement, and merge another $1.3 billion-asset RIA in Rhode Island into existing partner firm SCS Capital Management.

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Small Advisors

Pershing Steps Up Business Plan for ‘Small’ Advisors: Interview

2/25/21 | News

About 25% of Pershing Advisor Solutions’ new RIA relationships last year came from advisors managing under $250 million in assets, a key market that is under attack since TD Ameritrade merged into Charles Schwab.

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Montgomery, Alabama.

Merrill Lifer and His $4.4-Mln Alabama Team Jump to Morgan Stanley

2/23/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 10 Comments

Robert Runkle left for Morgan Stanley on Friday after 38 years with the Thundering Herd.

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Judge rules

Finra Bars Ex-Wells Broker Who Raised $3.5-Mln For Software Company

2/22/21 | Enforcement, News | 2 Comments

Scott W. Reed of Scottsdale, Arizona, allegedly made nearly $200,000 for soliciting and facilitating at least $3.5 million in unapproved investments in a software company.

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Advisor Moves

Wells Fargo Lures $3.9-Mln N.J. Team from Morgan Stanley

2/19/21 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

Group led by Stan Alpert and Gregg Kaufman had overseen $725 million in assets at Morgan Stanley.

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Father Son Financial Advisors

Runs in the Family: Finra Suspends Broker Who Helped His Barred Father See Clients

2/19/21 | News

Former Cambridge rep James A. Schumaker was accused of helping his father, barred from the industry in 2014, come into the office and meet with clients.

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Focus Financial Partners Touts Billion-Dollar War Chest for RIA Acquisitions

2/18/21 | News | 1 Comment

“We see many attractive opportunities to deploy capital,” says CEO Rudy Adolf, citing $1 billion to fuel deals in 2021.

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Finra sign

Finra Sidelines Two Brokers who Took Client Info to New Firms

2/16/21 | Advisor Moves, News

The regulator fined and suspended a Lincoln Financial Advisors broker and a former International Assets Advisory broker who started his own registered investment advisory firm for alleged violations of client privacy rules.

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FINRA sign

Finra Bars Ex-Wells Broker Accused of Improperly Seeking Virus Relief Loan

2/12/21 | Coronacrash, News

The regulator barred a bank-based broker who declined to cooperate with its investigation of allegations she had applied for the Small Business Administration’s support without a formal business.

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CI Financial

CI Financial CEO Shrugs Off Debt, Says Buying U.S. RIAs Pays

2/11/21 | News

Despite rising debt, CI Financial chief Kurt MacAlpine says the Toronto-based asset manager will continue to buy RIAs in the United States.

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Houston, Texas

$500-Mln AUM Goldman Advisor Leaves to Open Texas Office for Midwestern RIA

2/10/21 | Advisor Moves, News

Chicago-based registered investment advisory firm Cresset Asset Management opens Texas outpost with hire of Goldman Private Wealth vice president.

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Honolulu, Hawaii

First Allied Duo with $130-Mln Book Starts RIA in Hawaii

2/9/21 | News

Two brokers who had been with Cetera Financial Group-owned broker-dealer First Allied Securities decided to strike out on their own in Honolulu.

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Elderly woman

Family Affair: Panel Orders J.P. Morgan, Ex-Brokers to Pay $19 Million to Grandmother

2/9/21 | News | 6 Comments

A Finra arbitration panel in Boca Raton, Florida found two former brokers and J.P. Morgan liable in a case brought by the brokers’ 94-year-old grandmother for unauthorized trading and elder abuse.

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Big

Big Firms Get Even Bigger, Cerulli Says

2/8/21 | News

Almost 72% of U.S. brokers work at the 25 largest firms, up from 58% ten years ago, according to a new study highlighting accelerating industry consolidation.

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Advisors

Cetera to Buy Voya Brokerage Unit with 900 Reps

2/8/21 | News | 1 Comment

Voya Financial’s independent broker-dealer, which includes around $40 billion in client assets, will become part of Cetera Advisor Networks.

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LPL Gets ‘Commitments’ from Waddell Advisors Serving 80% of Assets

2/5/21 | News | 1 Comment

LPL CEO Dan Arnold said it is having an “ongoing dialogue” with the remaining undecided Waddell & Reed advisors ahead of the mid-year closing of the deal.

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RIA Robertson Stephens Opens Ninth Office with $200 Million-AUM Team

2/3/21 | News

Christopher Knapp, former head of Houston RIA Collaboration Capital, has joined Robertson Stephens Wealth Management as managing director and principal.

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Kurt Miscinski

PE Strikes Again: Lightyear-Backed Cerity Buys $1.1 Billion Boston RIA

2/2/21 | Advisor Moves, News

The acquisition of Bainco International Investors brings Cerity Partners’ total assets to over $28 billion.

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Advisor fraud

Finra Suspends Former NJ Broker Who Borrowed from Clients to Pay Debts

2/1/21 | Enforcement, News

Ex-broker Manish H. Shah accepted a 20-month suspension from the brokerage industry and a $15,000 fine for borrowing money from customers to buy another broker’s practice but using the money for personal expenses.

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Kurt Bakken, branch director for RBC Wealth Management-U.S.

RBC Nabs Wells Manager, Ameriprise Touts NYC Broker’s Asset Growth

1/29/21 | News | 1 Comment

30-year brokerage veteran Kurt Bakken joins RBC Wealth Management-U.S. as branch director for its Rochester, Minnesota office while Ameriprise said another ex-Wells broker had doubled assets in a month.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

PE-backed Captrust Buys $800 Million-AUM Pennsylvania RIA

1/29/21 | News

PWA Wealth Management was the roll-up’s seventh acquisition to close in 2020.

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Deal

Atria Wealth to Buy California Independent Broker SCF, Its Sixth Deal

1/27/21 | News

Independent broker-dealer aggregator Atria says SCF Securities will add about 150 brokers with $4 billion in assets under administration.

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Brendan Biruk, Leslie Crilley and Dan Rattigan (left to right) of Washington Crossing Financial Group.

LPL Reels in UBS Pennsylvania Team with $245 Million Book

1/26/21 | Advisor Moves, Breakaway Center, News | 3 Comments

Wirehouse veterans broke away last week to launch their own practice, Washington Crossing Financial Group, named for the town where they are based.

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Deals

Hightower Takes Stake in $830 Million New York RIA

1/26/21 | News

Purchase of a stake in Siller & Cohen Family Wealth Advisors, a Rye Brook, N.Y.-based registered investment advisor, is Hightower’s third transaction in 2021.

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Business Deal

CI Financial Buys Chicago RIA and Asset Manager Overseeing $23 Billion

1/25/21 | News

The addition of Segall Bryant & Hamill, an RIA and institutional asset manager, brings Canada-based CI’s total U.S. assets to $46.1 billion.

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Finra Scrutinizes Brokers Who Took PPP Loans for Potential Violations

Finra Scrutinizes Brokers Who Took PPP Loans for Potential Violations

1/25/21 | Coronacrash, News

The regulator is looking into whether some reps who received financial support from the federal government ran afoul of federal securities laws or industry rules on outside business activities.

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RIA Deal

Mercer Buys Iowa RIA Managing $215 Million

1/25/21 | News

Purchase of Ames, Iowa-based Marrs Wealth Management by Mercer Global Advisors in December was the RIA rollup’s sixth closing that month.

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RIA Deals

RIA Deal-making Hits Record Despite Pandemic

1/22/21 | News

An Echelon Partners report says the 124 deals done in the second half of 2020 made it ‘by far the most active period’ in the industry’s history.

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Spokane, Washington

Mercer Extends RIA Acquisition Spree with Washington State Deal

1/21/21 | News

Purchase of Spokane-based Hart Capital Management by Mercer Global Advisors in December was the RIA rollup’s fifth closing that month.

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Stifel Chief Executive Ronald Kruszewski

Stifel Bumps CEO Pay 15% to $11.5 Million

4/20/20 | News | 1 Comment

The five top executives at the St. Louis-based firm received total compensation of nearly $33 million in 2020.

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