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Wells Fargo, U.S. Trust, Raymond James Add Teams From Rivals

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In the end-of-summer recruiting drive, Wells Fargo added a team from Merrill Lynch, while Raymond James picks up a branch manager from Mother Merrill. Other new hires include four reps moving to U.S. Trust. On the independent side, LPL Financial adds a big group in Wisconsin.

Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC) said Wednesday that Travis Barr and Marco Cisneros joined it two weeks ago in Seal Beach, California, from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC). At Merrill, they managed some $227 million in combined assets and have a total of more than 20 years in the business.

Raymond James (RJF) said Tuesday that Andy Waldbaum, a former vice president of business strategy and initiative manager at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, is now a branch manager of the firm’s employee channel in Beverly Hills, California.

“Beverly Hills is a key office as we continue our expansion plans in this important region and we are delighted to have partnered with such proven talent as Andy. His experience in building and developing teams of advisors is just what we are looking for,” said Tash Elwyn, president of Raymond James & Associates, in a press release.

“I am happy to join such a great firm like Raymond James and to help them grow in the Los Angeles area,” said Waldbaum in a statement. “So many of recent recruits have come from the traditional wirehouse environment. I think it shows there’s an obvious attraction to the firm that offers the capabilities and resources of the big, national firms, but the culture and family feel of a regional. I plan to capitalize on that in this market.”

Prior to his work for Merrill, Waldbaum was a complex business development officer and a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Also this week, Raymond James said one of its teams, the Handler Investment Consulting Group, moved to its Beverly Hills branch. The group is led by Gary Handler, senior vice president of investments and a senior institutional consultant for Raymond James Institutional Consulting; he brings more than 25 years of industry experience to the complex.

U.S. Trust, a unit of Bank of America, said Tuesday that it added four advisors and four other financial professionals to its wealth management operations.

William Cohen joined the Charlottesville, Virginia, office of U.S. Trust; he most recently served as an executive director at JPMorgan.

Alexander Olson came on board the Boston complex of U.S. Trust as an advisor from New York Life Insurance Co., while Abraham Radmanesh has joined the Kansas City, Missouri, office as an advisor after leaving the Commerce Brokerage Services group at Commerce Bank.

Louis Cuomo in now part of U.S. Trust’s Glen Rock, New Jersey, office; the advisor formerly worked at Citi Wealth Management.

Morgan Stickler joined the firm in Florham Park, New Jersey, office as a portfolio manager, a role he most recently had at BlackRock.

Michael Whittemore is portfolio oversight manager for U.S. Trust in Pennington, New Jersey, after leaving the Prestige Wealth Management Group.

In Hartford, Connecticut, Gina Lammey is now working for the firm as a senior trust attorney; she recently served as an associate attorney for Scott B. Franklin & Associates. And Ronald Chaidez moved to U.S. Trust in Portland, Oregon, as a private client manager from his own privately held CPA firm, Stefani Chaidez LLP.

Independent Scene

LPL Financial (LPLA) said early Wednesday that Freedom Wealth Alliance, an independent hybrid RIA firm, is now affiliated with the LPL broker-dealer and hybrid RIA custodial platform.  Freedom Wealth Alliance includes five advisors with some $225 million in client brokerage and advisory assets.

Based in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Freedom Wealth Alliance grew out of Rozman Wealth Management, an independent financial advisory firm founded by Kurt Rozman, a veteran advisor and portfolio manager. Rozman will serve as president of  Freedom Wealth Alliance, which is focused on finding “overlooked independent fee- and commission-based advisors with approximately $50 million under management,” according to a press release.

The group also intends to offer advisors a centralized portfolio management strategy that reps can customize for their clients.

“We are pleased to welcome Freedom Wealth Alliance to LPL Financial. We look forward to supporting their advisors in their exciting transformation into a full-service independent hybrid RIA advisor group,” said Steve Pirigyi, LPL Financial executive vice president, in a statement.

“Our intention is to provide smaller independent advisor practices with all the resources and capabilities of much larger firms, while enabling them to provide their clients with the same high-quality, customized personal service that was common in previous generations,” Rozman said in a press release.

Rozman Wealth Management has been designated a premier advisor by the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP). Advisors joining the group can keep their independent practices and brands or become independent advisor representatives of Freedom Wealth Alliance.

The group says it plans to expand its operations into Wake Forest, Illinois; Tampa, Naples and Sarasota, Florida; and several locations in Texas and Arizona.

Check out Wells Fargo, Raymond James Recruit Teams; LPL Adds 13 Reps on ThinkAdvisor.


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