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Raymond James, Securities America and NFP Unit Add Teams, Breakaways

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Raymond James (RJF) and Washington Wealth, part of NFP Advisor Services, recruited former Wall Street advisors over the past week, and Securities America said Thursday that it added a team in Nebraska.

The father-and son-team of Michael Cohen and Benjamin Cohen, CFP, joined Raymond James & Associates in Chicago from JPMorgan Securities (JPM), where they have managed about $670 million in client assets and produced yearly fees and revenues of more than $4.2 million.

“The addition of the Cohen team is just one more illustration of the momentum we have built in attracting successful advisors from across the industry to affiliate with Raymond James,” said Tash Elwyn, president of private client operations for Raymond James’ employee-advisor group, in a statement. “There is clearly great appeal in our firm’s reputation, culture and services and the fact we are delivering on our commitment of being the premier alternative to Wall Street.” 

“We conducted a lot of due diligence,” explained Michael Cohen in a press release, “and looked carefully at many firms, but Raymond James had the right management, the right attitude and the right focus for us. We wanted a firm that was built for retail and would let us run our practice the old-fashioned way: putting our clients’ interests first; and Brian understood that. Raymond James respects the advisor-client relationship and provides unparalleled support.”

Michael Cohen began his financial services career in 1971 with H. Hentz & Co., but spent most of his career with Bear Stearns, which was acquired by J.P. Morgan Securities in 2008. Benjamin Cohen went into the business at Bear Stearns in 2006.

Washington Wealth Grabs 2 Advisors

Also last week, independent RIA Washington Wealth Management said it added two former wirehouse advisors to its platform. The advisors, Morrie Symson and David Mizrahi, have a combined asset based of roughly $150 million.

Washington Wealth, a unit of NFP Advisor Services, is based in San Diego and was set up by ex-wirehouse advisors.

 “Their decision to join Washington Wealth Management after so many years in the wirehouse universe speaks to the critical importance of harnessing turnkey comprehensive support for former wirehouse advisors accustomed to such resources and the power of the independent model,” said Rob Bartenstein, CEO of Washington Wealth Management, in a press release.

“As more and more advisors look to escape the captive environment of the wirehouse world, we look forward to being able to offer a true hybrid solution, one that is full service and makes independence easy and beneficial for them and their clients,” Bartenstein explained.

Symson, most recently with UBS (UBS), joined Pacific Point Asset Management, a WWM-affiliated firm. Mizrahi, formerly of Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA), has opened his own practice, First Point Financial Management. Both advisors are based in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Securities America News

Securities America, a unit of Ladenburg Thalmann (LTS), said early Thursday that Fortress Wealth Advisors of Omaha, Neb., had joined the IBD.

Financial advisors Dana Webb and Curren Webb, another father-son team, opened Fortress Wealth Advisors in mid-January and have already transitioned nearly $100 million in client assets. They were previously with Manarin Investment Counsel of Omaha.

“We are very excited about the successful launch of our first quarter as Fortress Wealth Advisors,” said Curren Webb in a press release. “With this solid foundation for our business, and our relationship with Securities America, we look forward to accelerated growth in the months and years to come. We have a sophisticated and growing clientele and wanted a firm that could offer next-level resources, support and oversight.”

Fortress Wealth Advisors will conduct advisory business through Arbor Point Advisors, a joint venture of Securities America and NorthStar Financial Services Group. Arbor Point’s platform lets hybrid advisors serve fee-based clients directly with major custodians such as TD Ameritrade, Schwab and Fidelity Institutional, while managing their commission-based accounts through Securities America.

“Advisors like Dana and Curren Webb reflect the mission behind our approach,” said Curtis Reed, president of Arbor Point Advisors, in a statement. “We look forward to working with them to achieve their goals, and most importantly, the goals and objectives of their clients.”


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