United Capital Chief Investment Officer Kara Murphy

United Capital Financial Advisors said it hired Kara Murphy, CFA, to serve as its new chief investment officer. Murphy was previously CIO at SunAmerica Asset Management.

She comes on board about nine months after United Capital hired Robert Landry, CFA, formerly CIO of USAA, to oversee its centrally managed assets.

“We constantly want to upgrade the team and wanted someone to work on  innovation side of things, as well as tell our story,” said United Capital founder and CEO Joe Duran in an interview. Murphy has experience working with alternative investments and cause-driven investment, he adds.

“We are super excited to have both of them. It’s quite a coup for an independent  firm,” Duran explained, “and we are thrilled to have a woman executive. There are not enough in our industry.”

United Capital is an RIA with about $21.6 billion in assets under management and 86 offices nationwide.

“The financial life management approach toward financial planning and investing has enjoyed swift growth as it changes the dynamics between asset management, financial advice and the delivery of both,” Murphy said, in a statement.

While Murphy was with SunAmerica, assets grew from $28 billion in December 2013 to $50 billion in 2018. She oversaw investments across different strategies, including rules-based, asset allocation, ESG and index-based portfolios; prior to this role, she was with Chilton Investment Company and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

“I’ve been a proponent of the idea of helping clients live richly today as well as in retirement,” she explained. “I look forward to fueling United Capital’s momentum today and into the future, as I believe we now have a world-class investment committee.”

“We’re confident that, with Kara’s addition, our advisors will be offered the best investment solutions available, whether they’re a United Capital advisor or working with FinLife Partners,” Duran added

(FinLife Partners is the operating system that lets independent advisors access to United Capital’s proprietary Financial Life Management technology; the firm recently launched  FinLife CX, a client experience system that links to an advisor’s existing CRM.)