Jeff Vitt, president of Tower Financial, aims to give boutique firms like Baird and Barclays Wealth a run for their money.
Tower, based in Conshohocken, Pa., that uses Raymond James Financial Services as its broker-dealer. The group now has 14 advisors about $300 million in assets and is on a fast-track when it comes to recruiting.
“We should be at 30-40 advisors a year from now,” Vitt said in a phone interview.
Tower Financial’s CEO is Thomas Christopher, who was with Wachovia for 15 years.
“Advisors like to work for someone who can help them grow their business or, if they prefer, have better lifestyle,” said Vitt, adding that he’s been in the business for 20 years and was a manager of the year at Wachovia in 2004.”
Vitt left Wells Fargo Advisors a few months after it acquired Wachovia in late 2008 and has been building a sizeable practice ever since. When he left Wells Fargo, he was overseeing nine branches with about $50 million in yearly revenues.
After exploring other options, “I wanted the benefits of independence with the luxury of a wirehouse or a bank environment,” Vitt said. “And now I seek to provide that to others and have started bringing people on board with me, many of whom I’ve worked with or have known through the industry.”
While it’s been trimming its book of smaller clients, the firm is seeking to grow geographically. “Our focus is mainly in areas 90 miles north and south of Philadelphia, including southern New Jersey and Delaware,” said Vitt, 43, who also does consulting for the banking sector via Triumph Partners.
“We are talking to lots of folks from everywhere,” he explained. “While at first I brought some of our advisors on that I had worked with at Wachovia, we are now in talks with advisors from lots of firms and from all channels.”