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Practice Management > Building Your Business > Recruiting

Focus Financial Adds $1.5B RIA in North Carolina: Recruiting Roundup

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Focus Financial Partners said it recently added the RIA Eton Advisors of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The first group to join it in North Carolina, the team includes 11 professionals and has some $1.5 billion in client assets.

Co-founders Robert Mallernee, Jack Parham and Teresa Eriksson previously worked together at US Trust and UBS, deciding to form their own RIA in 2009.

 “Focus’ emphasis on entrepreneurial autonomy particularly resonated with us. When paired with access to capital and best practices from other high caliber firms, Focus quickly emerged as our ideal partner,” Erikkson said in a statement.

The team has multi-generational relationships with ultra-high-net-worth clients in over 20 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Its next-generation leaders — Brad Dalton, John Wallace, Dexter Blackwell and Kendra Fortier — joined the co-founders to form the new management team.

“We are delighted to welcome Eton Advisors to the Focus partnership,” said Rudy Adolf, Founder and CEO of Focus, in a statement. “This deal not only extends Focus’ footprint to North Carolina, but it also boosts the partnership’s foothold in the UHNW space.

Kestra M&A News

Independent-advisor platform Kestra Financial, says it acquired the wealth-management firm Rinvelt & David. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rinvelt & David was founded by Robert M. Rinvelt and Roger J. David. Members of the team have over 50 years of experience and manage about $275 million in assets.

“This new chapter offers us the additional tools and resources needed to build a lasting legacy for our firm and the clients we serve,” said Rinvelt said in a press release.

“This partnership is representative of our best-in-class advisor solutions and the advanced resources that Kestra offers its advisors,” explained Kestra President & CEO James Poer, in a statement. “Kestra Financial is a motivated buyer of businesses led by sophisticated advisors who have a proven track record of delivering effective financial advice, tenets we found in Rinvelt & David, LLC.”


Dynasty Financial Partners recently announced that it has a new member: Schmidt Financial Group of Kirkland, Washington, an independent RIA managing more than $300 million in client assets.

Schmidt Financial was started in 1993 by Glenda Schmidt, who taught financial planning seminars on Microsoft’s Redmond campus for more than a decade. The team now has clients who work for Amazon, Google, Facebook and more.

“Glenda, Evan and their team at Schmidt Financial Group have extraordinary experience in working with successful technology entrepreneurs and professionals,” said Shirl Penney, Dynasty’s CEO, in a statement. “We are proud to welcome them as a Dynasty Network Advisory Firm.  We are looking forward to partnering with them to better serve their existing clients and to position their firm for future growth.”

The firm “developed a distinctive business model that has successfully supported our clients’ high net worth lifestyles,” explained Schmidt, founding principal, in a statement. “Over that [25-year] time span, what began as individual relationships has grown into family household relationships serving multiple generations.”

According to son Evan Schmidt, “Working with Dynasty Financial Partners, I’m excited to position the firm for future expansion by focusing on executives and technology professionals experiencing sudden wealth through acquisitions and going public.”

Schmidt Financial works with Pershing Advisory Services, Addepar and Dynasty Financial Partners to provide service to its clients.


Securities America, a unit of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, has welcomed Benson Financial Group of Hannibal, Missouri.

The eight producers and three staff members of Benson Financial Group have $170 million in client assets. They will join Compass Financial Resources, an Olathe, Kansas-based branch led by President Russ Lane. Lane and his firm’s 10 advisors joined Securities America in August.

Before Benson Financial’s move, Compass Financial had $340 million in client assets.

“We’re excited about partnering with such a great company,” said Benson Financial Group founder and financial advisor Pat Benson, in a statement. “It felt like family the way we were treated. We were very impressed with every aspect of the business.”

“Benson Financial Group is a great fit for the Securities America family,” explained Gregg Johnson, Securities America executive vice president of branch office development and acquisitions, in a statement.  “Their team approach to serving clients has proven successful for over 20 years.”

Securities America includes 2,200 independent advisors and over $72 billion in client assets. 

FiNet, Other News

Troy Hartman, of Kendallville, Indiana, departed Edward Jones and moved to Reynolds Wealth Management, an independent practice with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (FiNet). Hartman brings over $92 million in clients assets and 19 years of industry experience.

Thayer (Terry) Potter, of Rumson, N.J., has recently left Janney Montgomery Scott LLC., to start his own practice, Twin River Wealth Management, with FiNet. The firm is based in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; it also has an office in Red Bank, N.J. Potter brings over $207 million in client assets and a total investment experience of 33 years.

Janney Montgomery Scott says Marguerite Kircher, senior vice president/investments, has joined Janney’s Garden City, N.Y. branch office. Kircher was previously affiliated with Wellington Shields & Co. Kircher has some $119 million in client assets.

“We’re happy to welcome Marguerite to our Garden City branch,” said Patrick Maas, Complex Manager at Janney, in a statement. “Together, we will continue to keep people at the center and do the right thing for our clients.”

Mercer Advisors, a national RIA in Santa Barbara, California, says it has acquired Ray Mignone Associates, a provider of financial planning and investment management services with $290 million of assets under management

This is Mercer’s seventh acquisition in 2017. This transaction increases Mercer’s assets under management to about $11.3 billion.

RBC Wealth Management has welcomed Jared R. Smith from Wells Fargo Advisors. Smith has more than 15 years of industry experience and manages $145 million in assets with $1.8 million in yearly fees and commissions. The broker-dealer has $310 billion in total client assets and some 1,800 financial advisors.


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