Advisor movement continues into the final days of '16.

Baird says it has added three advisors in New Jersey and Florida from Wells Fargo Advisors with close to $390 million in client assets.

The employee-owned wealth management firm, which is based in Milwaukee, says the three veteran reps have joined its Private Wealth Management group in Morristown, N.J., and West Palm Beach, Fla. Both locations are new office sites for Baird.

Coming on board in Florida are Keith Epstein, CFP, and Andrew Oremland, CFP. Epstein has 22 years in the business, while Oremland has 21. Together, they manage about $243 million in client assets.

Robert F. Brown of Morristown moves to Baird from WFA with about $146 million of assets. He has been an advisor for 27 years.

Overall, Baird works with roughly 875 advisors and about $115 billion of client assets.

In other employee-advisor news, RBC Wealth Management has added an advisor Tim McEwen, CFP, and his team from UBS with about $307 million in client assets and some $1.5 million in yearly fees and commissions.

The McEwen Group is based in Lincoln, Nebraska, where RBC currently has a branch. Overall, RBC Wealth has about 1,800 reps and close to $280 billion

LPL-Related News

LPL Financial-affiliated Retirement Benefits Group of Irvine, California, says advisor Phil Matheson, has joined it.

Matheson has 10 years of industry experience and has overseen the addition of over 90 plan clients when he was head of the retirement division at Centennial Group Benefits.

“I see myself as an extension to my clients’ HR teams,” Matheson said, in a statement. “I work with them to improve the performance of their plans through customized plan design ideas, fee benchmarking, industry benchmarking and creative education programs.”

Prior to Centennial Group, Matheson was with Wells Fargo Advisors and Wachovia Securities.

“In the new fiduciary environment, I expect that firms with the RBG business model, with its strong focus on retirement plans, will thrive,” he explained.

According to RBG Principal Michael Castner, Matheson—who holds the AIF, CRPC and CFP designations—will be “a great asset to our team, and we are excited to partner with someone of Phil’s caliber and experience.”

RBG, which operates as an RIA, has 15 affiliate offices nationwide.

Also moving to RBG is Asa Kajihiro of Honolulu. Kajihiro has 12 years of experience and was previously with Edward Jones.

“I decided it was time to start my own boutique firm that is focused on addressing the individual financial challenges of each of my clients,” he said, in a statement.

“The Hawai’i business world is evolving. Our leaders are working harder to learn how to run their businesses more effectively and efficiently, which, in turn, will positively impact their employees and the broader community,” Kajihiro explained.

“We are thrilled to add Asa to our team and look forward to working with him to build our retirement plan business in Hawai’i,” RBG Principal Dave Utter said, in a press release.

At Edward Jones, about 80% of assets managed by Kajihiro were from individual clients and 20% from retirement plans. His plan is to “flip those percentage,” according to RBG. The advisor has the AAMS certification.

M&A News

Meanwhile, two wealth firms that both use LPL Financial as their broker-dealer have said they plan to merge: IHT Wealth Management, a Chicago-based super-OSJ, with 28 affiliated advisors and US Wealth Management of Briantree, Massachusetts, with 30 advisors.

After they are combined, the total level of client assets should be about $2 billion.

IHT President Steven Dudash has joined US Wealth Management’s leadership team as head of recruiting and strategic development.

“By combining our scale and expertise in helping advisors achieve their business and succession goals, our combined firm will offer the resources, flexibility and management insight to meet the challenges that lie ahead for independent advisors and their clients,” said Dudash in a statement.

As part of the merger, IHT will buy the equity of US Wealth Management in several stages.

“Looking further down the road, I could not have found a better successor to take the reins at US Wealth Management when the time comes than Steven Dudash,” said US Wealth Management Chairman & CEO John Napolitano, in a press release.

“The IHT W-2 model–sometimes referred to as a ‘wirehouse lite’ model–is very appealing to advisors looking for more of an employment situation with benefits, and who don’t want the aggravation of opening their own office in order to be completely independent,” he added. “We intend to implement that model immediately in selected US Wealth Management locations. I am very excited for the future of our two combined firms.”