Independent wealth management firms and RIAs continue to attract teams and advisors from rivals and from the wirehouses. In addition, several financial services groups announced recently that they had hit major milestones in their business results.
Focus Financial Partners said Wednesday that Summit Financial of Lafayette, La., joined its partnership of independent wealth management firms. The independent RIA has about $600 million in client assets. In addition, Focus says it has completed nine transactions in early 2014.
Summit was previously affiliated with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (or FiNet), the independent advisor channel of the bank, for nearly eight years.
“Summit’s client-centric service model and entrepreneurial spirit make them a natural addition to our partnership,” said Rudy Adolf, founder and CEO of Focus, in a statement. “Focus has successfully supported more than 40 mergers for our partner firms, and we plan to do the same for Summit as they look to acquire new talent to further establish a regional presence in the Southeast.”
Summit Financial was founded in 2003 by Fred Werner and David Daniel, both former Legg Mason advisors who have worked together for more than 15 years. Other partners include Todd Lambert and Michael Pharr.
“Our decision to join Focus was influenced by the depth and quality of the partnership, as well as their capabilities and resources in satisfying specific growth objectives,” said Daniel, in a press release.
“As a partner firm, Focus provides us with the capital and deal expertise to grow through strategic acquisitions, while still allowing us to maintain focus on our clients,” he explained. “We are excited to expand our reach through the addition of other like-minded broker teams and independent firms.”
Focus Financial Partners now has over $70 billion in total client assets.
Last week, Securities America said Hilary Jones Rojo joined Verus Capital Partners, a branch of Securities America, from Wells Fargo Advisors, where she supported clients from nine different branches.
“Going independent allows me to develop deeper relationships with my clients,” Jones Rojo said in a statement. “I really like the feel of an independent broker-dealer, with enough sophistication and support from both Securities America and my managing principal.”
Prior to joining Securities America, Jones Rojo managed $65 million in client assets. She holds Series 7 and 66 licenses.
“Hilary’s desire to both enhance client relationships and grow her practice represents the reasons many advisors are choosing the support and culture Securities America offers,” said Gregg Johnson, senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions, in a press release.
Lebenthal Wealth Advisors of New York shared in late-March that the Gallaway Stern Group joined the firm from Morgan Stanley with about $1.2 billion in client assets. The Gallaway Stern Group’s principals are Carrie S. Gallaway, CFP, and Andrew L. Stern, who have more than 32 years of combined industry experience.
“Throughout their career, Carrie and Andy have won respect and recognition from their clients and the financial community for the high quality of their work, integrity and client centric philosophy,” said Lebenthal Wealth Advisors Chairman & CEO Frank Campanale, in a statement.
“They come to Lebenthal to become part of a culture that empowers them to deliver the best client service, unconflicted advice and act as true fiduciaries,” Campanale explained. “Carrie and Andy joining Lebenthal provide an incontrovertible testimonial to the fact that dynamic and astute advisory teams have an appreciation for the boutique approach being offered at our firm.”