Recruiting and deal-making are off to a good start in 2018.

Securities America, part of Ladenburg Thalmann, says it recruited 14 independent-advisory groups with more than 50 financial advisors and about $2 billion in total client assets.

Most of the new registered reps, who switched affiliation in the final quarter of 2017, were formerly affiliated with the National Planning Holdings group of broker-dealers—which was bought by LPL Financial in August.

“More financial advisors are taking notice of what we have to offer,” said Gregg Johnson, Securities America executive vice president of branch office development and acquisitions, in a statement. “Our service offerings, welcoming culture, innovative resources and technology have provided quite a draw.”

Overall, Securities America has about 2,200 advisors and $72 billion in total advisory and brokerage assets. The latest additions moved to the IBD before year-end 2017.

The new groups include teams on the West and East Coasts, as well as in the Midwest:

  • US Advisory, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, over $192 million;
  • Azevedo & Greulich group, Modesto, California, $128 million;
  • Eagle Financial Counseling, Moscow, Idaho and Portland, Oregon, $151 million;
  • Fenton Wangler Financial, Vancouver, Washington, $140 million;
  • Oregon Wealth Management, West Lin, Oregon, $189 million;
  • PA Wealth Management, Hershey, Pennsylvania, over $164 million;
  • Steve Cram group, Minneapolis, Minnesota, over $172 million;
  • Anthony Gentilello group, Marlton, New Jersey, $118 million;
  • Tom Brattain group, Portland, Oregon, $189 million;
  • Larson Financial Services, Leawood, Kansas, over $139 million and a former affiliate of Summit Brokerage Services;
  • Storm Fischer Investment Group, Brookfield, Wisconsin, over $157 million; and
  • St. Pedro & Associates, Royersford, Pennsylvania, over $100 million.

Earlier, four groups with roughly $4 billion in assets and 130-plus FAs joined Securities America: super OSJs Professional Investors Network, Elite Financial Network and Priority Financial Group and independent hybrid RIA Financial Focus.

“We’re honored that so many experienced and successful advisors choose Securities America,” Johnson explained. “We’re excited to work with these new partners and welcome them into our existing family of longtime advisors.”

Focus Financial News

Focus Financial Partners said three of its partner firms closed transactions on Jan. 1.

Buckingham Strategic Wealth added Stevens Wealth Management, an all-women team founded by Sue Stevens, based in Deerfield, Illinois. The merger represents Buckingham’s entry into the greater Chicago market.

The Colony Group said Blue Water Advisors of Long Island, New York, merged with it. Blue Water was founded by Max Haspel in 2001 and became an RIA in 2014.

Strategic Wealth Partners of greater Chicago announced that William Perry, the former head of Park Place Capital Management, is now a senior wealth advisor with the team. This transaction means that Strategic Wealth now has a presence in the Milwaukee market.

“Our goal at Focus is to help entrepreneurs realize their ambitions, which includes connecting them with other like-minded individuals to drive next-level growth and success,” said CEO Rudy Adolf, in a statement. “To help our partner firms increase their geographic presence and expand their services, Focus provides access to capital and extensive M&A expertise.”

More Hires

Two advisors recently joined Ameriprise Financial with $234 million in combined assets under management. 

Meisha Griffith of Pasadena, California, is now part of the franchise channel. She used to be with Citigroup, where she had roughly $109 million in assets under management.

Anthony Barone of Bohemia, New York, also became part of the franchise channel. At Wells Fargo Clearing Services, his prior affiliation, he had some $125 million in assets.

Wells Fargo Advisor’s independent channel, WFA Financial Network, says that before the end of 2017, it added an advisor from Merrill Lynch: Dennis Hall of Florham Park, New Jersey.

He is now working with Jack Wiener of Florham Wealth Advisors. Hall has over 25 years of industry experience and some $201 million in client assets.

Janney Montgomery Scott, which is based in Philadelphia, has opened a new location in Columbus, Ohio, and added a team there with over $100 million in client assets. This branch is Janney’s eighth office in Ohio. 

Joining the Columbus location is Horowitz Wealth Management, led by Scott Horowitz, who used to be part of Raymond James’ employee channel and will now serve as the branch’s office manager.

“We are excited to announce the opening of our branch, which demonstrates Janney’s commitment to further growth in the region and will allow us to cultivate new client relationships in a key marketplace,” said Jim Dornan, senior vice president and western regional manager, in a statement. “We are grateful to have Scott join us as our local leader due to his stellar reputation among the industry, his clients, and the local community.”

Horowitz has been in the business for about 17 years. “I’m delighted to be joining Janney at such an exciting time for the firm, as it continues to expand its presence in Ohio,” the advisor explained in a statement.

The Bahnsen Group of HighTower Advisors, which has some $1.25 billion of client capital and offices in Newport Beach, California, and New York, said it has added the following team members:

  • Nicole Steel, wealth services coordinator, came to the firm from Morgan Stanley;
  • Jamie Adams, operations associate, joined from J.D. Power; and
  • Kelsey Thompson, executive assistant;

In late-2017, the Bahnsen Group hired Camille Mesite in Service & Operations and Kenny Molina as a wealth management analyst in the Solutions & Analytics Group. The team now has 16 members.