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UBS, Raymond James Grab $2M Teams From Rivals

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UBS (UBS) says the Grueninger Group moved to its office on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif., from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC). The group, which has nearly $2.7 million in yearly fees & commissions, includes Mark Grueninger and Ben Sauer.

According to FINRA, Grueninger started his career at UBS in late 2001. He was with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch from 2003 to early 2014.

Meanwhile, Raymond James (RJF) said it recruited a team with about $2 million in production from Morgan Stanley in Buffalo, N.Y.

Financial advisors Peter J. Walsh and Lisa J. Walsh have opened the first full-service branch of Raymond James & Associates in Buffalo, according to Bill Roney, director of the Great Lakes division for the firm’s employee channel.

“Peter and Lisa are a wonderful addition,” said Roney, in a press release. “They are an outstanding, high-quality team with more than 45 combined years of experience and, most importantly, high integrity and a commitment to and focus on their clients. We couldn’t be more excited to have the entire team join the Raymond James family, and we are proud to have them represent us in the Buffalo market.”

Previously with Morgan Stanley, the Walshes, who are married, managed $255 million in client assets and had annual fees and commissions of $2 million.

“We were looking for a firm with the same culture and values that we believed in,” explained Peter Walsh, in a statement. “We wanted a firm that looked after its advisors and one that has all the technology and resources we need to serve our clients. We looked at many, many firms, but the only one that fit, that demonstrated a sincere client-first philosophy and an advisor-centric culture was Raymond James.”

Peter began his financial services career in 1984 as a specialist clerk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. He then worked at Morgan Stanley for 26 years. Lisa Walsh was with Morgan Stanley for 19 years. Earlier in her career, she worked as an account executive with ADP and a claims representative with CIGNA Insurance.

“Raymond James is one of America’s largest independent financial firms,” she said in a statement, “and a company grounded in core values such as conservatism, independence and integrity. Its unique culture gives us the complete freedom to offer objective, unbiased advice, so we can tailor our clients’ plans based solely on their financial well-being. And the resources and support of more than 3,500 home office associates will help us better serve all our clients.”

Other Movement

Sapient Private Wealth Management, a Eugene, Ore.-based RIA that is affiliated with Focus Financial, said this week that it added former RBC financial advisor Ross Anderle, CFP, who previously managed nearly $100 million in client assets. Sapient’s total client assets are now about $700 million.

“To expand our presence in the Pacific Northwest, we are constantly on the lookout for exceptional talent that will help us serve the changing needs of our growing clientele,” said Greg Erwin, co-founder and managing partner at Sapient. “Ross is an excellent example of the caliber of talent that will enhance our offering and build upon our firm’s unwavering client-centric culture.”

The Sapient team was previously with Morgan Stanley for more than 30 years. It launched its own wealth management firm with the help of Focus Connections, a program that helps wirehouse teams successfully transition their business.

“I am very excited to be transitioning to the independent space and joining a first-rate team of financial professionals,” said Anderle, in a press release. “As a member of the Sapient team, I now have greater access to resources and the flexibility to provide a broader range of solutions to our growing client base and deliver the best possible results.”

Said Rich Gill, managing director of Focus Financial Partners: “We expect entrepreneurial-minded advisors, like Ross, to continue favoring the independent model. Focus has already facilitated a number of similar transitions this year, and we don’t foresee this trend slowing down.”

In other news, Gradient Wealth Management, an independent financial services company in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, says it opened its operations last month as an RIA, which uses TD Ameritrade (AMTD) as its custodian.

The group is led by David Johnson, CFP, who has worked in the industry since 2000. Johnson is joined by Dennis “Oscar” Hansen, CFP.

The firm uses the services of Gradient Financial Group — including insurance, investment advisory, asset management, securities and mortgage banking.

“Sound financial planning is what drives Gradient Wealth Management, and I am excited to have the opportunity to offer our clients a holistic approach to their finances. Our team is dedicated to understanding each person’s unique needs and goals, which helps our firm to be planning-focused, not product-focused,” Johnson said in a press release.

With a focus on client education, Gradient Wealth Management says it will hold four seminars a month at its office “to help keep investors informed.”

LPL’s Latest News

LPL Financial (LPLA) said recently that Atlas Private Wealth Advisors has moved to its broker-dealer platform. The group also has aligned with Flagship Harbor Advisors, an independent RIA group, for its fee-based advisory services. 

As of Dec. 1,Atlas financial advisors supported brokerage and fee-based client assets totaling about $125 million.  

Based in Matawan, N.J., Atlas Private Wealth Advisors includes five professionals who are led by veteran financial advisors Vladislav Krubich and Tony Mayo. Krubich was with Ameriprise Financial (AMP) from 2000 to 2013.

Atlas says it provides comprehensive, personalized financial planning for individuals, families and business owners, primarily in the New York/New Jersey region. In particular, it notes, its advisors focus their business on serving mass-affluent “baby-boomers,” including successful professionals and Fortune 500 executives in the region.

“We are very excited to provide this dynamic team with an industry-leading platform offering the widest possible suite of solutions, tools and resources geared at supporting their ability to grow on a scalable basis while providing exceptional client service,” explained Bill Morrissey, executive president of business development at LPL Financial, in a press release. “Our goal, as always, is to facilitate the independence of leading financial advisors across the country and enable them to deliver their clients highly customized financial guidance to help them pursue their financial goals.”


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