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$700M Morgan Stanley Team Moves to Raymond James Indie Group

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Steward Partners Global Advisory, an independent-advisor group affiliated with Raymond James, says six advisors have joined it from Morgan Stanley with about $700 million in assets and about $5.9 million in yearly fees and commissions.

The new indie advisors have opened an office in Clearwater, Florida, which is Steward’s ninth office; Clearwater is located near St. Petersburg, Florida, where Raymond James is based. The partnership, which is employee-owned, plans to open several more locations this year.

The registered reps joining Steward over the past month or so are: Frank Hibbard III; Amy Rosa; Todd Hoffman, CFP; Angela Helmus-O’Brien, CFP; Travis Hadwin, CFP; and Todd Seymour.

“We’re excited to welcome Frank, Amy, Angela, Travis and both Todds to Steward Partners and to Raymond James in Steward’s new Clearwater location,” said Scott Curtis, president of Raymond James Financial Services, the firm’s independent channel, in a statement. “This group represents another addition of high quality, client-focused advisors to affiliate under Steward Partners’ business model. We’re proud of our relationship.”

Since November 2013, Steward Partners has grown to include close to 50 advisors with over $40 million in trailing 12-month production and more than $5.7 billion in assets, according to a press release. The firm says it “intends to expand the number of partners and locations significantly” this year.

“Our story continues to resonate with elite advisors around the country,” explained Steward Partners CEO Jim Gold in a statement. “Steward Partners has become an attractive option for financial advisors and RIAs looking to grow and achieve more autonomy. We’ve doubled the size of our firm in 2016 and expect to do the same in 2017, all while remaining focused on hiring great people who also run a great business.”

To handle its growth plans, Steward Partners added to its management and operational team over the past year or so. It also split the company into two divisions, with Jim Connors overseeing the New England and Jeff Gonyo supervising the Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Albany, New York, offices.

“We believe that the nimble and entrepreneurial culture of Steward Partners, combined with the highest quality service, industry-leading technology and robust platform of Raymond James, will deliver to our clients an unparalleled investment and wealth management experience,” Hoffman said in the statement.

Breakaway Brokers

Several of the advisors that have left Morgan Stanley to join Steward have close to or more than two decades of industry experience:

  • Frank Hibbard III, 19 years, with Morgan Stanley since 2002;
  • Todd Hoffman, 24 years, with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney since 1996 and with Raymond James’ employee channel from 1992-1996;
  • Angela Helmus-O’Brien, 26 years, with Morgan Stanley since 2004; and
  • Travis Hadwin, 25 years, with Morgan Stanley since 2007 and with Merrill Lynch from 1999-2007.


“Having the freedom and flexibility to manage our clients’ wealth was paramount in our decision to move. Being able to utilize a wealth management or advisory approach for our clients means their interests come first, not how we get compensated,” Hibbard explained in a statement.

As for the movement from Morgan Stanley to the indie partnership, “The leadership and the transition team at Steward Partners is quite impressive,” said O’Brien, in a press release. “I’ve explored other options in the past, but nothing connected on all levels of practice management, advisor platform, client service capabilities and, most importantly, firm culture like Steward and Raymond James.”

Other advisors moving include Amy Rosa, CFP, who started in the business at Morgan Stanley in 2010 and Todd Seymour, CFP, who joined the wirehouse in 2014.

“We are excited to be a part of the Steward family and to become partners in Clearwater,” said Rosa, in a statement.

“Our clients’ interests were key to our decision to become more independent in our businesses development and expansion, without being overwhelmed with the day-to-day activities of running a company,” added Hadwin.

Seymour noted that “Steward Partners, with the support and platform of Raymond James, offers that perfect combination which made this choice right for our clients, our businesses and our families.”

Raymond James Financial Services works with more than 3,700 independent financial advisors nationwide. Across its different channels, Raymond James serves 7,100 financial advisors in the United States, Canada and overseas. Total client assets are roughly $617 billion. 

— Check out Raymond James Names Top Branch, Complex Managers on ThinkAdvisor.

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