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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Lebenthal to Exit Wealth, RIA Business

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Lebenthal Wealth Advisors is shutting down its operations after three years in the business.

The news comes a month after a large group, YorkBridge Wealth Partners, left the firm, moving its advisors and some $750 million in client assets to Dynasty Financial Partners.

“We really looked at the human and other resources put into Lebenthal Wealth Advisors, the assets and success of this business and of our other two businesses [in asset management and capital markets],” said Alexandra Lebenthal, CEO of Lebenthal Holdings. “The reality was we really wanted it to work, but it has not been providing us with what we hoped in would — in terms of success and returns on capital.”

A year ago, the wealth group’s then-CEO Frank Campanale departed. He had been in the post for the past two years (and now is working as a branch manager for Wells Fargo Advisors in Michigan, according to his LinkedIn profile).

The wealth group officially closes its doors on Sept. 30. The operations now include about one team, one advisor and some $100 million in client assets.

Lebenthal’s grandparents, Louis and Sayra Lebenthal, founded Lebenthal & Co., a municipal bond specialist, in 1925. She followed her father, James Lebenthal, as the company spokesperson after joining the company in 1988, becoming president and CEO in 1995; she remained at the firm for four years after its sale, leaving in 2005 and then starting a new firm with her dad in 2006.

The company’s asset management business has some $1.5 billion in assets, according to Lebenthal, while its capital-markets unit does about $1 billion in securities underwriting each year.

“As an entrepreneur of a large business, you have to be constantly … asking where you want to be focusing. And, at the end of the day, the two healthy businesses are where we need to focus,” she said. 

Lebenthal says she finds it “most interesting” that after the financial crisis, “It is more advantageous to work at smaller firms in some ways” than at firms with “big names.”

“It’s such a sea shift, and I’ve been in the business for more than 30 years,” she explained “I know another sea shift is yet to come.” 

— Check out Alexandra Lebenthal: Who Are You Calling a Socialite? on ThinkAdvisor.


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