December 6, 2013

Convergent Nabs Goldman Advisor; Aims to Double Its Assets

Boutique firm’s newest executive plans to help the group add clients and partners nationwide from a variety of backgrounds

Convergent Wealth Advisors recruited an ex-Goldman Sachs (GS) wealth advisor on Thursday to help it recruit more clients and partner advisors.

The boutique firm, which caters to ultrahigh-net-worth clients and has some $11 billion in assets, also says it wants to double the level of assets it manages over the next five years by bringing in more partners and clients.

Charles Winn joins the group in New York, where he will support the group’s business development and client relations. The 20-year industry veteran will split his time between New York and Los Angeles.

“There’s nobody else like Charlie, who is joining us at the senior level,” said Convergent President and COO Douglas Wolford, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “He will work with us [to attract] other advisors and professionals with certain specialties to join the firm.”

The boutique wealth business is a “different model” in the industry, Wolford explains. “We are required to be and strive to be as conflict-free as we possibly can, and we are not selling any of our [branded] services or products. We are seated on the same side of the table as the client. It’s a big plus.”

“I was drawn to Convergent by the quality of its management, size, entrepreneurial spirit, extreme client focus and vision,” said Winn in an interview. “It’s a perfect fit.”

Most Convergent clients have between $1 million and $1 billion of investable assets. The average level they place with the RIA firm is about $25 million.

“In the wealth world, the secret sauce is knowing as much of the clients’ interests and background as you can,” Wolford says.

If a client is an executive in the telecommunications field, then they want to work with and advisor who knows that industry or has worked in it, he adds, which is how Convergent plans to grow its business.

It’s using new growth initiative, called Catapult, to bring in advisors and other professionals with expertise in biomedicine, health, telecommunications, software and other industries.

“Specialists always beat generalists at the end of the day,” Wolford said, “and that’s the direction we are headed.”

Clients in the ultrahigh-net-worth category, he adds, are looking to work with advisors who can add value that impacts more than just their portfolio.

“The key to working with the wealthy is bringing life experience and history to relationships that go beyond an advisor’s professional background,” Wolford said. “The value add for ultrahigh-net-worth clients in investments is almost marginal compared to the relationship itself and adding value through broader services.”

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Check out Ex-LPL, Schwab Recruiter Opens Office to Help Advisors Go Indie on ThinkAdvisor.

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