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Focus, Dynasty Add Teams; Morgan Stanley Grabs 4 FAs With $660M

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Focus Financial Partners said Monday that Gratus Capital Management had joined its partnership with some $800 million in client assets. Also on Monday, Dynasty Financial Partners announced that a group of ex-Wells Fargo Advisors had come on board with about $400 million in assets after forming NovaR Wealth Advisors.

In other recruiting news, Morgan Stanley (MS) recently recruited four advisors from rival firms with a total of $660 million in assets under management.

Gratus, an independent RIA based in Atlanta, began its relationship with Focus on Oct. 1. It also has offices in Palm Beach, Sarasota and Naples, Florida.

“Focus has successfully supported more than 40 mergers for our partner firms, and we plan to do the same for Gratus as they look to acquire new talent to further establish a regional presence in Georgia and Florida,” said Rajini Kodialam, co-founder and managing director of Focus, in a statement.

Gratus was founded in 2006 by Hank McLarty, a former Morgan Stanley advisor. The group includes four advisors.

“Our decision to join Focus was influenced by [its] entrepreneurial business model and the depth and quality of the partnership providing capabilities and resources in satisfying our growth objectives,” said McLarty, 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 our boutique service model and focus on our clients.”

Dynasty Developments

Dynasty Financial Partners says former-Wells Fargo (WFC) reps Timothy Rodgers and Keith Osborne have launched NovaR Wealth Advisors in Kansas City.

“We are deeply committed to the Kansas City market, and we remain dedicated to providing our clients with objective, transparent advice and investment counsel,” said Rodgers, in a press release. “With NovaR Wealth as an independent firm through Dynasty, we now have access to a much wider selection of financial resources.”

NovaR Wealth is using Fidelity Investments as its custodian, PKS for brokerage services and MarketCounsel to manage its regulatory compliance program. 

“Tim and his team have tremendous experience and an established presence in Kansas City. As an independent firm, they are committed to providing the best advice and investment solutions to their clients,” said Dynasty CEO & President Shirl Penney, in a statement.

“Dynasty is proud to be NovaR Wealth’s transition and growth partner and to add individuals of this quality to our Dynasty Network of truly independent advisors,” Penney explained.

Morgan Stanley Grabs 4 Teams

Morgan Stanley said Wednesday that four advisors had moved to its wealth management unit from UBS (UBS), Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM) and Neuberger Berman.

Jeffrey Stein and Joseph Stein Jr. come on board Morgan Stanley’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas office in New York, where they will report to complex manager Ben Firestein. The ex-Neuberger Berman pair has combined fees and commissions of more than $3.5 million and prior assets of $320 million.

Richard Potashner left Merrill to work for Morgan Stanley in Salt Lake City, where the branch manager is Paul Shoemaker. Potashner has yearly production of about $1.25 million and client assets of about $130 million.

Richard Wilson is now part of Morgan Stanley’s Louisville office, which he joined from UBS. Wilson reports to branch manager Chris Hudson and complex manager Frank Roccisano. The advisor has trailing 12-month production of $1.13 million and assets of $110 million.

Finally, Carolyn Sanderson joined Morgan Stanley’s Lawrenceville, New Jersey, office from JPMorgan with about $1 million in production and $100 million in assets. She now reports to branch manager Robert Beylickjian.


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