December 12, 2013

Wells Adds 3 Teams with $4.5M as Rivals Nab Reps

Wirehouses are grabbing groups of advisors nationwide, and independent firms are acquiring new assets at year end in Illinois

As firms and advisors digest news about planned changes to their payout and bonus programs, a few reps are making the choice to move before those shifts go into effect.

Wells Fargo (WFC) said Tuesday that it added teams from two other wirehouses and one other national broker-dealer.

It recruited three UBS advisors (doing business as TPM Wealth Management Group) in Jackson, Miss., with $1.6 million in yearly fees & commissions and $255 million in client assets. The reps — Andrew Townes, Don Parsons and Charlie Mitchell — will now be supervised by complex manager Ari Litvin and branch manager George Sousoulas.

Prior to joining Wells, TPM Wealth Management Group was recognized as one of the top assets under management and producing teams for UBS in the Southeast. Its members have more than 100 years of combined industry experience.

Moving to Wells from Morgan Stanley are Dave Engel and Tom Penrose. The team, which has yearly fees and commissions of $1.6 million and client assets of some $250 million, is now reporting to branch manager David Lojpersberger and market manager Steve Nash in Philadelphia.

Penrose focuses on the team’s portfolio management, while Engel, a CFP, works on planning, insurance and annuities.

An ex-Janney Montgomery Scott team made up of a stepfather and stepdaughter is now doing business with Wells Fargo in Marlton, N.J.

The Feast Financial Group, which includes advisors John Feast and Mary Marett, have a total of 25 years of experience in the industry, assets of $106 million and annual production of $1.3 million.

UBS (UBS) says it recently recruited a team from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) in the greater Dallas area and a female advisor from Merrill in San Diego.

Jay Arbetter and Jason Taraszki are based in Addison, Texas, where they manage a total of $275 million in assets and have over $2 million in combined production. They report to Managing Director Chris Gerrish.

Arbetter started his career at Merrill in 1985, while Taraszki began there in 2000. The team specializes in private portfolio asset management and family financial consulting.

Courtney Liddy, a top women advisor in Southern California, joined UBS' San Diego office on Thursday. She has been in the business for nearly 20 years, about $327 million in client assets and now reports to branch manager Scott Hollaender.

Morgan Stanley (MS) says that it added a team from Merrill Lynch last last week. The Daniels and Levy team--Jennifer Daniels and Karen Levy moved to Morgan Stanley's in Cincinnati.

The team, which now reports to branch manager Ron Bass, has total yearly production of about $1.3 million and client assets of roughly $150 million.

While Wealth Enhancement Group utilizes LPL as its BD, Wealth Enhancement Group’s RIA (for all their fee-based client work) has a multicustodial strategy that includes LPL, Schwab, Raymond James and SEI.

Independent Rep Movement

Wealth Enhancement Group, an independent financial advisory firm with more than $3.7 billion in assets, says it has merged with Summit Wealth Advisors, a Chicago-based RIA firm with nearly $300 million in assets.

The Wealth Enhancement Group is affiliated with LPL Financial (LPLA). It says that Summit Wealth Advisors will now use LPL Financial as its broker-dealer. Its assets, though, will remain custodied at Raymond James (RJF), its former BD.

Minneapolis-based WEG has a network of 40 financial advisors and does business in 40 states with affluent and high-net-worth clients.

“Strategically, we are looking to partner with firms that have demonstrated a commitment to growth and see value in integrating with our proprietary marketing capabilities for new client development and creating efficiencies by utilizing our centralized platform to gain investment management, planning and administrative leverage,” said Jeff Dekko, CEO of Wealth Enhancement Group, in a statement. “By combining our capabilities, we believe we can organically grow the Chicago region into a multi-billion dollar region similar to our Minnesota region.”

Independent RIA Savant Capital Management of Rockford, Ill., says it has acquired Paragon Advisors of Naperville, Ill. The acquisition should bring Savant's level of client assets to $3.7 billion.

Savant works with Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity for certain broker-dealer and custodial services. Paragon is currently utilizing Securities Service Network as its broker-dealer, with assets custodied at NFS; it is expected to work more with Savant’s business partners in the future.

"We said from day one of deploying an M & A strategy that we would only consider the best RIAs," said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital Management, in a press release. "And Paragon lives up to their name, aligning with us regionally, structurally, philosophically, and culturally. We are proud to welcome Paragon's team and their clients to the Savant family."

The deal is expected to close by Dec. 31, and Savant Capital says it will continue look at other M&A partners, both in the Chicago area and beyond in 2014.

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