Raymond James sizzled this week, adding a $7 billion national retirement plan consultant team; a $180 million team that will open a new office in McAllen, Texas and a new complex manager for its south central Texas complex; a $125 million team that will open a new office in Gainesville, Florida; and an independent $1 million advisor in Birmingham.

Next Retirement Solutions, formerly known as Neuner Retirement Services, is an independent firm offering securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Raymond James’ independent advisor unit. The national team of institutional retirement plan consultants and financial advisors has offices in California, Illinois, Missouri and nationwide, and began existence in 1994 as a group of corporate retirement plan consultants for then-A.G. Edwards & Sons.

Paul Neuner founded the group and built out a national advisory practice. Through a series of acquisitions, NRS became the leading institutional retirement consulting group for Wells Fargo Advisors, where they managed some $7 billion in retirement plan assets. In June, NRS established its own legal entity and partnered with Raymond James.

The team includes Paul Neuner, managing director-partner and financial advisor; Kevin McFarland, senior vice president finance & operations partner and financial advisor; Dominic Repetti, SVP relationship management-partner and financial advisor; Neelab Naibkhyl, director, strategic development and financial advisor; Timothy Cronin, SVP wealth management and financial advisor; and Damon DeLillo and Michael Rozovics, senior relationship managers and financial advisors.

“As a group, we continue to innovate in order to provide the very best services for our clients,” said Neuner in a statement. He added, “By partnering with Raymond James, we felt the environment was conducive to implement new ideas and better serve these important relationships. We believe with the support provided by Raymond James we can not only add offices and team members, but also provide greater customization and depth and breadth of services to our clients.”

Raymond James Adds Employee Advisors in Texas

Raymond James & Associates, meanwhile, welcomed Mark Southwell and Bill Martin as founding employees in its new branch in McAllen, Texas. The office is part of a newly formed south central Texas complex that includes the towns of McAllen, Boerne and San Antonio and is managed by Sam Dickson, complex manager and SVP, investments, who joined from JPMorgan Chase.

Southwell, branch manager and SVP of investments, and Martin, VP, come to Raymond James’ employee advisor arm from Morgan Stanley, where they managed more than $180 million in client assets and had revenues of $1.4 million. The team operates as 1845 Capital of Raymond James, named to honor the history of Texas as a republic and a state. “We sought out a firm who could not only help us deliver on our mission, but was also well positioned to meet today’s challenges and which understood our business model, our values and loyalty to our clients,” Martin said in a statement.

RJA also recruited the team of Frank Urban and David Hanson to open a new office in Gainesville, Florida, for the firm’s traditional employee broker-dealer. The team, operating as Urban Hanson Wealth Management of Raymond James, joined the firm from Morgan Stanley, where they managed over $125 million in client assets and had annual fees and commissions of over $1 million.

“The reason we chose to join Raymond James was first and foremost the culture of the firm,” Hanson said in a statement. He added, “A lot of our business is discretionary, so we were particularly impressed with the asset management services group.”

And J. Shawn Gentle joined Raymond James Financial Services in Birmingham, Alabama. Gentle, formerly of Wells Fargo Advisors, where he managed approximately $175 million in client assets and had annual revenue of more than $1.1 million, has opened a new office, Gentle Family Wealth Management, an independent firm.

“I chose independence to be closer to my clients,” Gentle said in a statement. He added that he chose Raymond James in particular “because of all the tools the firm offers, including financial planning, as well as its strong advisor culture and because the firm always puts clients first. In just the first few weeks of my new practice, I am more in touch with my clients because I control 100% of my schedule. There is nothing in the way to prevent me from being nimble and responsive to client needs: no unnecessary meetings, no revenue or product goals placed upon me by someone else, or any other distractions.”

Wells Fargo Adds 7 Indie Advisors

Not to be outdone, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network welcomed seven advisors who left their previous firms to go independent. Together the group manages more than $781 million in client assets.

The first team, Robert Duncan, Bradley Newman and Zachary Breverman of Agoura Hills, California, left Merrill Lynch to open their independent practice, Duncan-Newman Associates. They bring more than 65 years of industry experience, and more than $400 million in client assets, to the practice.

The second, James Martin and Brad Seagraves of Little Rock, Arkansas, left Morgan Stanley to open Martin Seagraves Wealth Management. They bring more than 32 years of industry experience and more than $101 million in client assets to the practice.

And the third, Chris Jones and Dan Hoffe of Sarasota, Florida, left J.P. Morgan to join an existing independent practice, Capstan Financial Consulting Group. They bring more than 22 years of industry experience and over $280 million in client assets to the practice.

Other Advisor Moves

Pensionmark, for its part, welcomed a new firm to its advisor support program. Ridge Retirement Consultants, with Bob Scherzer, managing partner; Sergio Sardera, VP of client services; Larry Heller, VP and senior consultant; and Jim Lyday, managing director, has joined the program in the New York metropolitan area.

Ridge advises nearly 50 corporate clients, totaling $1.7 billion in assets under management. Before Ridge’s founding three years ago, Scherzer spent 26 years overseeing New York area retirement plan services for the Principal Financial Group.

Wealth management and investment banking firm Noyes has announced that Steven Bishop has joined its wealth management group. He joins from City Securities Corp. in Indianapolis, where he had been a financial advisor since 2003; he will be based in Noyes’ Indianapolis branch. At Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, Steven Mattus has been named head of global products and solutions (GPS) for the Americas region. He joins as managing director, based in New York, from Credit Suisse’s private bank, where he held a series of senior leadership roles. Mattus will report to Patrick Campion, head of wealth management, Americas, and to Bernd Amlung, global head of GPS.

U.S. Trust has announced a group of new hires in three states. In California, John Aylward has joined the Los Angeles office as a private client manager from PNC Bank, where he was a banker. Also joining the Los Angeles office as a private client advisor is Tiffany Barbara; she was previously a portfolio manager at BNY Mellon.

In Florida, joining as private client advisors are Chris O’Gorman and Josh Resnick. O’Gorman joins the Fort Lauderdale office from Creative Sports & Entertainment Finance LLC, where he was an owner. Resnick joins the Boca Raton office from Bank of America, where he was an enterprise staffing manager.

And in Washington, Brecken Diller has joined the Seattle office as a private client manager from Comerica, where he was a VP, trust specialist.

In Philadelphia, Firstrust Financial Resources LLC has rejoined AXA Advisors LLC after several years during which the firm was associated with MetLife Premier Client Group.

FFR is a wholly owned subsidiary of Firstrust Bank and is led by principals David Fleisher, Andrew McIlhenny and Paul Markowich. Fleisher, president and CEO of FFR, said in a statement, “Our team is excited to join AXA Advisors and become part of leadership at the firm’s Philadelphia branch, Karr Barth Associates Inc., which has been an industry leader for decades.” As part of the association, Fleisher will also be named vice chairman and co-branch manager of Karr Barth Associates.

— Check out the July 21 Recruiting Roundup on ThinkAdvisor.