Wells Fargo, Raymond James Recruit Teams; LPL Adds 13 Reps

Plus, HighTower and NFP bring on retirement plan groups to their operations as partners

Recruiting deals continue at summer's end Recruiting deals continue at summer's end

Wells Fargo (WFC) and Raymond James (RJF) have recently attracted teams from Morgan Stanley (MS), while several groups of independent advisors have affiliated themselves with broker-dealers such as LPL Financial and organizations like HighTower Advisors.

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Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC) said Thursday that it just recruited Alison Scavone and William “Hayden” Bates in Westport, Connecticut. At Morgan Stanley (MS), the team managed more than $348 million in combined assets; they have more than 40 years of combined industry experience.

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James Switzer and Eric Cobb have moved from Morgan Stanley to Raymond James Financial Services (RJFS), the independent broker-dealer channel of Raymond James, in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The team operates as Switzer Cobb Wealth Partners. At Morgan Stanley, it managed $180-plus million in client assets and had annual fees and commissions that topped $1.3 million.

“We felt the time had come to be an independent business and grow our own brand, but we still wanted access to all the resources and support of a major firm,” Switzer said in a statement. “Raymond James was the perfect fit. Since our transition, we have been overwhelmed by how friendly and helpful everyone is … We also appreciate the firm’s technology and back office support, while being in control of our own practice and destiny.”

Switzer began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1990, moving to Morgan Stanley in 2008. Cobb started his work in the business at Merrill Lynch in 1996 and switched with Switzer to Morgan Stanley in 2008 to open the firm’s first Spartanburg office.

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LPL Financial (LPLA) says the Financial Advocacy Network of the greater Washington, D.C., area has joined its broker-dealer and RIA custodial platform. The 13 advisors of FAN, a newly launched independent hybrid RIA group, have some $450 million of client assets. 

“We are very pleased to welcome Chris Cox and all the independent advisors in Financial Advocacy Network to LPL Financial,” said Steve Pirigyi, executive VP of business development at LPL Financial, in a press release. “Their objective to nurture a broad range of capabilities among FAN’s independent advisors and then share their common intellectual capital, is a forward-thinking innovation on the advisor-group business model …”

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HighTower Advisors announced that Fiduciary Plan Advisors of Baltimore is now part of its network, which includes a technology and business-development platform.

“Fiduciary Plan Advisors’ focus on delivering differentiated solutions to corporate plan sponsors is meeting a critical need in the market,” said Michael Parker, HighTower’s national director of enterprise development, in a statement. “With the network’s support, they will be able to maintain their own unique brand and culture while providing clients with more comprehensive and sophisticated product and service offerings.”

The Fiduciary Plan Advisors team is led by CEO Jania Stout.

“In six years, the practice has grown from serving the Baltimore and D.C. areas to advising clients all over the country on the challenges and complexities associated with providing corporate retirement plans,” explained Stout, in a statement. “Membership in the HighTower Network gives us the infrastructure to support a national footprint and enables us to remain fully focused on addressing our clients’ unique needs as we continue to build our business.”

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National Financial Partners (NFP) Advisor Services added 53 advisors this week, all of whom are members of RPAG, a retirement-plan consulting group based in Aliso Viejo, Calif.

“The news is also indicative of the retirement plan tools and support that NFP Advisor Services provides independent advisors.”

“The additions – which come on the heels of the integration of 401(k) Advisors into the NFP family – showcase our significant recruiting momentum and further solidify NFP’s position as the premier home for advisors in the retirement industry,” said NFP Advisor Services President James Poer, in a statement. “The news is also indicative of the retirement plan tools and support that NFP Advisor Services provides independent advisors.” 

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