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Raymond James Nabs Wells Fargo Reps With $760M: Recruiting Roundup

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Raymond James says its employee channel recently added four financial advisors from Wells Fargo with a total of about $760 million in client assets.

Craig Cooley, Lee Miller, Michael Wegener and Tim Godin have moved to Raymond James & Associates’ operations in Bay City and Farmington Hills, Michigan, according to RJA Northern Division Director John Kuklenski.

Cooley, Miller and Wegener opened a new office in Bay City, operating as Water Street Wealth Management of Raymond James. At Wells Fargo Advisors, they previously managed more than $500 million in client assets and have been in the industry for a combined 57 years.

“I wanted to be with a firm where I had the freedom to do what is in my clients’ best interest at all times, without influence or firm pressures,” said Cooley in a statement.

“As we looked at alternatives,” added Miller, “we searched for a firm that was large enough to provide the resources, products and infrastructure that is necessary to serve our clients, along with a reputation for putting clients’ interests first.”

Miller worked for A. G. Edwards and other firms that became part of Wells Fargo for nearly 20 years; Cooley joined A.G. Edwards in 2001 after practicing law for 11 years. Wegener began his financial-services career in 1997 with SII Investments; after working at Horner, Townsend & Kent and Capital Analysts, he joined Wells Fargo in 2010.

Meanwhile, Godin joined Raymond James in Farmington Hills; he previously managed about $260 million in client assets and will lead Godin Wealth Management of Raymond James. The advisor began his career in 1990 at A.G. Edwards.

“I was attracted to Raymond James for many reasons,” he explained. “Most importantly, I wanted to be at a firm whose values are similarly aligned with my own. Because Raymond James offers dedicated support and high-quality resources, I can focus on building relationships with clients and providing them with the best service possible.”

Breakaway Team 

In other news, hybrid-RIA Kestra Private Wealth Services says Northeast Investment Group—which has $340 million in assets and is led by former UBS advisors Jeffrey Boudjouk, Anthony Landi and Deborah Shuster—is now part of its platform. The group is the fifth breakway firm to move to Kestra this year.

“When it came time to break free from the traditional Wall Street environment, we wanted to partner with a firm that gave us all the tools, support, and guidance needed to focus on our clients and grow our practice. Kestra PWS really delivered on that front,” said Boudjouk, in a statement.

“We chose Kestra PWS because of the accessibility of their team, the boutique-like atmosphere they cultivate, and their proven track record of empowering advisors to take control of their own destiny,” he added.

Other News

Separately, Wealth Enhancement Group, which has $8.4 billion in assets, bought Cimino Wealth Advisors, a practice with nearly $495 million that is based in Clinton, Wisconsin.

“With Cimino Wealth Advisors, we saw a fantastic opportunity to continue our growth story by partnering with a firm who delivers comprehensive financial planning and investment management to help their clients strive toward their financial goals,” said Jeff Dekko, CEO of Wealth Enhancement Group, in a statement.

WEG is backed by private-equity firm Lightyear Capital. The acquisition is its first in Wisconsin.

Cimino is led by Vince Cimino, one of LPL Financial’s top producing advisors; he will maintain his affiliation with the independent broker-dealer.


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