Recruiters are ending 2016 with a frenzy of deals.

Broker-dealers have been busy recruiting advisors before the end of 2016. Raymond James, for instance, said it recently recruited one team from Wells Fargo Advisors and another from Morgan Stanley.

The Wells Fargo team of John Solomon; Phil Greer; Bill Dukelow, CFP; and Hamilton P. Neal, CFP, are now part of Raymond James & Associates (RJA) the firm’s employee channel in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Previously, the team managed close to $290 million in client assets and had about $1.7 million in annual fees and commissions; it operates as the Solomon, Greer, Dukelow & Neal Wealth Management Group.

“We are delighted to welcome John, Phil, Bill and Hamilton as well as Samantha and Lindsay to the Ponte Vedra office of Raymond James,” said Patrick O’Connor, Coastal Region director for Raymond James & Associates, in a statement.

“With their more than 100 years of combined experience and a commitment to a long-term, client-first approach, they are a great addition to our firm, and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to grow their business,” O’Connor explained.

Raymond James independent channel says a team of three advisors in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has joined it from Morgan Stanley. The group includes Mark J. Rhoades, CFP, and George Livanos, according to Scott Whitley, regional director for Raymond James Financial Services.

The group has some $250 million in client assets and had yearly production of over $1.5 million, according to Raymond James. It now does business as the Broadview Group. It will work both with an existing RJFS affiliate and the RIA Phoenix Financial, which is led by managing director and branch manager William W. Farley Jr.

“We are very pleased to be aboard at Raymond James,” said Rhoades, in a statement. “We researched our options carefully, but first and foremost was our desire to service our clients in a truly independent fashion. We knew it was a home run when the opportunity to be independent fiduciaries included partnering with a senior, highly regarded advisor like Bill Farley and his deep bench at Phoenix Financial.”

Wells Fargo’s FiNet Gains Advisors

Four advisors have left Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to go independent with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. In total, the four registered reps manage more than $440 million in client assets and have close to 50 years of industry experience.

Tom Fautrel and Paul Carlson of Bethesda, Maryland — formerly with Morgan Stanley — opened Seventy2 Capital with FiNet; they manage more than $243 million in client assets and have a total of 26 years of industry experience.

Michael Russo of Staten Island, New York, recently left Merrill Lynch to open an independent practice with FiNet; Russo has been an advisor for more than 12 years and manages about $125 million in client assets.

Dennis Surmanek, also of Staten Island, exited Merrill to start Surmanek Wealth Management; he has been an advisor for more than a decade and manages about $72 million of assets.

LPL-Related Moves

The Wealth Enhancement Group, an independent wealth management firm, says it has struck a deal to buy CLA Financial Advisors of Northbrook, Illinois; CLA has about $200 million in brokerage and advisory assets.

“Our national growth strategy is predicated on acquiring complementary partner firms in select markets and using our proven organic marketing programs to further fuel growth,” said Jeff Dekko, CEO of the Wealth Enhancement Group, in a statement.

“The progress of this strategy in our Chicago region is promising, and the acquisition of CLA represents a significant milestone in continuing our success story. We look forward to building on the Chicago region’s momentum and expect to surpass $1 billion in client assets in this market in the near future,” Dekko explained.

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services is the group’s RIA. Some of its investment advisor representatives also are registered reps of and sell securities through LPL Financial.

As part of the agreement, CLA’s employees will become part of the Wealth Enhancement Group.

Through three deals announced this year, the Wealth Enhancement Group is set to add over $1.7 billion in assets. The group and its RIA have over $6.3 billion in client brokerage and advisory assets.

LPL Financial says that Napa Valley Wealth Management, which has about $213 million of client assets, has joined its broker-dealer and hybrid RIA platforms.

The group is led by Kelly Crane; it has offices in St. Helena and Walnut Creek, California, and has been in business since 1992.

The other advisors in Napa Valley Wealth Management are Earl Kneckt and Bob Lance; the group’s advisors formerly traded securities through Cetera Advisor Networks.

“With regulatory changes impacting advisors, investors and the way they do business, one of the most common conversations we have with advisors is around the support and resources LPL has to help them,” said Steve Pirigyi, LPL executive vice president of business development, in a statement.

Another group of advisors has chosen to affiliate with a group using LPL’s hybrid RIA platform: Kyle Arcand and Charlene Gregory, who have joined the Independent Advisor Alliance of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Based in Chesapeake, Virginia, Arcand and Gregory move IAA with about $150 million of assets. IAA, which was founded in 2007, works with 70-plus independent LPL financial advisors with a total of $1.5 billion in assets.

“We wanted to come up with the best game plan possible for our clients and our business,” said Arcand, in a statement. “We knew we would be transitioning numerous client brokerage assets to advisory assets in the upcoming year. Joining a team like IAA … plus the resources offered by LPL gives us the scale and backing we were looking for to help our business grow.”

Arcand has 28 years in the business, while Gregory has eight.

“Moves like Kyle and Charlene’s are becoming more and more frequent,” said Robert Russo, founder and CEO of IAA, in a statement. “They were looking for a platform that could withstand the changing regulatory and legislative environments, and feel confident that LPL and IAA can provide the stability they are looking for.”

More BD News

RBC Wealth Management said the East Bay Wealth Management Group has joined its Walnut Creek office, according to Michael Schipper, director of RBC’s San Francisco Complex.  

The team’s advisors are David Persin, Ted Simos, Kim Beatty and Zach Persin, all of whom formerly worked for Merrill Lynch, where they had more than 60 years of combined experience. They manage more than $230 million in assets and have $2.2 million in yearly production. 

“The East Bay Wealth Management Group is an extremely well-respected team of advisors, and they bring strong industry knowledge and client-first focus,” Schipper said in a statement.

In Santa Barbara, California, RIA Mercer Advisors has acquired Fabian Wealth Strategies, an RIA firm managing $95 million in client assets in Costa Mesa, California.

“Mercer Advisors continues to add talent and branch office presence and distribution in accordance with our strategic plans,” said CEO David Barton in a statement. “Southern California is definitely a market in which we’re keen to expand our already significant presence,”

Mercer has more than $9.4 billion in assets under management.

Other Moves

Griffin Capital Corp. said it hired a former executive of National Planning Holdings: Diana Keary is now head of marketing for Griffin. At NPH, she was head of practice management.

Griffin Capital is a private Los Angeles-based investment and asset management company. The firm and its affiliates own, manage, sponsor and/or co-sponsor a real-estate portfolio consisting of roughly 38 million square feet.

Independent broker-dealer Peak Brokerage Services of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, says KFSG Wealth Management of San Antonio is now the wealth-group’s new BD.

“We decided it was time for a change with our broker-dealer relationship and began looking for a broker-dealer that had the same philosophy as us, one where the client comes before selling particular products or services,” said Bryan Kaarlsen, president and chief wealth manager at KFSG, in a statement. 

Prior to affiliating with Peak Brokerage Services, KFSG worked with Next Financial Group for eight years, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority BrokerCheck records. 

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