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Focus Draws $1B UBS Breakaway Team

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Focus Financial Partners, a group of wealth management firms, said Tuesday that two former UBS (UBS) advisors have worked with it to start IFM Capital Advisors, a Denver-based independent RIA.

Timothy Kneen and Clayton Hartman, who managed about $1 billion in client assets, recently started the firm, which also has offices in Fort Collins, Colo., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

Kneen has been in the business for more than 25 years, while Hartman is a 33-year industry veteran. They are running the new firm with ex-South Dakota State Sen. Tom Dempster, another former UBS advisor, and 17 other ex-UBS employees.

“Given the recent Centerbridge investment in Focus and the closing of our $550 million credit facility this month, we will continue using our unparalleled access to resources to invest in teams like IFM,” said Focus CEO Rudy Adolf, in a press release. “IFM is a prime example of the continuing trend of top-tier advisors leaving wirehouses. We are proud of our team’s track record in facilitating successful transitions of sophisticated and complex businesses and helping them flourish for years to come.”

The deal was facilitated by recruiter Mindy Diamond, president & CEO of Diamond Consultants. “Tim Kneen and Clayton Hartman’s entrepreneurial DNA, their past successes as business owners, and their drive make them ideally suited to take their already successful business to new levels,” Diamond said in a statement.

For its part, UBS said last week that it had recruited a team from Morgan Stanley (MS) with about $500 million in client assets. The Apex Group — comprising Adam Thomas, Mike Hennessy, Araya Mesfin, Brandon Brown, Jansen Bailey and Julie Bailey — joined UBS on Jan. 13 in Atlanta, according to UBS.

Other Recruiting Deals

Steward Partners Global Advisory, an employee-owned advisor partnership that is affiliated with Raymond James independent broker-dealer (RJF), said earlier this month that it had recruited two advisors from Morgan Stanley: Chris Reaney, who previously managed about $110 million in client assets, has joined the independent firm in Portsmouth, N.H.; and Rick Pignone, who managed some $240 million at Morgan Stanley, has come on board in Andover, N.H.

Last week, Morgan Stanley said it had picked up three advisors on the East and West coasts.

J. Patrick Kearns joined Morgan Stanley’s McLean, Va.-based office from Fulcrum Securities. Kearns now reports to complex manager Michael Robinson. He has had yearly fees and commissions of $1.2 million and client assets of $185 million.

Michael Cott and Donald Nejedly moved to Morgan Stanley in Pleasanton, Calif. (near San Francisco), from RBC Dain Rauscher. The team reports to branch manager Michael O’Connell. It has combined production of more than $1 million and assets about $250 million.

Earlier this month, Tash Elwyn — who runs Raymond James’ employee-advisor channel — said on Twitter that his group had recruited former-Morgan Stanley advisor Richard Vega in Hilton Head, S.C. Plus, Elwyn tweeted Tuesday that Alan Elovitz came on board in Dayton, Ohio, from Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC).


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