Recruiting, M&A deals continue to be on a roll in '16.

Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC) has added a team in Paramus, New Jersey.

Brian Latz, John Cicillini and Kenneth Cariota come to the branch from Morgan Stanley, where they most recently managed more than $427 million in combined client assets. The three now report to Wells Fargo branch manager William George and Tim Sheridan, market manager for the New Jersey Highlands market.

Also in New Jersey, Cordua, Pastore & Associates, which has served the Cherry Hill area for 25 years and has 14 employees, is merging with HBK CPAs & Consultants of Canfield, Ohio.

“This merger provides opportunities for our professionals to better serve their clients from both a depth-of-service perspective and in terms of industry niche expertise,” said Peter Cordua, CPA and managing principal for Cordua, Pastore & Associates, in a statement.

“Although we spoke with several large firms about the possibility of joining them, HBK stood out because of their approach: local office service delivery with large regional firm resources,” explained Vincent Pastore, CPA and director of taxation for Cordua, Pastore, in a statement. “This benefits our clients and our team in a way that wasn’t possible for us as a local firm.”

United Capital News

United Capital Financial Advisors says it has expanded into Connecticut with the acquisition of the private client group of Westport Resources Management. Westport Resources, an RIA, brings roughly $373 million in assets under management to its new partner.

The group will be renamed Westport Resources, a division of United Capital, and the firm’s CEO and founder, John Vaccaro, has joined United Capital as a managing director. In conjunction with the acquisition, Westport Resources Investment Services, an affiliate of Westport Resources, will continue to operate as a separate entity.

“This acquisition will strengthen United Capital’s presence in New England and advance its position as a nationwide leader in financial life management,” Matt Brinker, head of national partner development at United Capital, said in a statement.

Strategic Financial Developments

Strategic Financial Alliance, a privately owned independent broker-dealer and RIA, says Carnegie Wealth Management of Exton, Pennsylvania, and Carlyle Wealth Management of Atlanta have transitioned to its broker-dealer and RIA platforms. Together, the two independent financial advisory firms bring a total of $350 million in client assets.

“We are delighted to welcome both Carnegie Wealth Management and Carlyle Wealth Management to the SFA community, and look forward to providing them with the personalized services and innovative, open-architecture investments that will help them grow their businesses and fulfill their clients’ long-term financial goals,” said CEO Clive Slovin, in a statement.

Located outside Philadelphia, Carnegie Wealth Management was founded in 1985 by its chairman, Roy A. Johnston, who runs Carnegie today along with business partner CEO Matthew D. Kelly.

“We’re enthusiastic about our transition to SFA, with its boutique culture, careful due diligence of investment products, and unique, advisor-owned community. Many of our clients have already expressed to us their keen interest in some of the carefully targeted solutions that we will now be able to bring to their diversified investment portfolios,” explained Johnston in a statement.

Carlyle Wealth has offices in both Atlanta and Albany, Georgia. It was launched in 1988 by Co-CEOs Sharon Budnik and Alan Anderson. The group has four financial advisors.

“I have known Clive Slovin for over 20 years and he has proven to be a man of the highest integrity, knowledge and vision for our industry,” explained Budnik, in a statement. “With an ‘open door’ philosophy, Clive and his group of top executives maintain a strong commitment to serving advisors and their clients with outstanding compliance and research, while remaining flexible and innovative in providing solutions for reaching clients’ goals.”

Fintech Recruiting 

Autonomous Research, which is focused on the financial-services sector, says Alexey (Lex) Sokolin has joined the group as partner and global head of fintech strategy.

Lex joins Autonomous from Vanare, a digital wealth-management platform for which he served as COO. Previously, he founded and served as CEO of robo-advisor NestEgg Wealth, which was acquired by Vanare.

He has been an investment banker at Deutsche Bank and a corporate strategist at Barclays Wealth/Lehman Brothers.

Lex, referred to widely as a “financial futurist,” has been active in the venture community and has advised start-ups on growth and market strategy.

He was recently named one of Investment Advisor magazine’s 25 most-influential industry players for 2016 and is a regular blogger on ThinkAdvisor.

“Whether it’s blockchain, artificial intelligence, or robo-advice, never has an understanding of technology been more crucial to understanding the future of finance,” said Autonomous Deputy CEO Erick Davis, in a statement. “Lex’s guidance and perspectives will be central to our thought-leadership on the future of financial services around the globe.”

“It is a privilege to join a partnership of experts as thoughtful and creative as the Autonomous team. I am impressed by the commitment of the firm to create original, actionable knowledge that helps clients,” explained Sokolin, in a statement.

“The world’s global institutions rely on Autonomous as a trusted advisor in investment and strategy decisions, and I am excited to bring a fintech franchise to market. We will help traditional firms leverage innovation in digital ledgers, online advice and artificial intelligence to benefit their customers, and enable emerging firms to understand the financial services landscape and commercialize brilliant ideas,” he added.

Read the Sept. 1 Recruiting Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.