Carson Group CEO and founder Ron Carson. Carson Group CEO and founder Ron Carson.

Carson Group says it added 49 advisor groups with $4.4 billion in assets under management in 2018, which brings the company a total of 96 partner firms with $7.5 billion of assets. In the fourth quarter, 14 firms with about $1.1 billion in assets came on board.

Earlier this year, Carson Wealth opened an office in Des Moines, Iowa, led by former Wells Fargo advisor Joel Worsfold, who works with several advisors and some $500 million in assets. These and other affiliated Carson Wealth advisors trade through Cetera Advisor Networks.  

“We experienced record growth in 2018, which is a testament to advisors not only seeing our compelling value but to the shifting environment that’s opening their eyes to take a close look at the health of their business,” according to Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Group.

The Carson Group says its coaching business now has some 1,285 member firms in the U.S. and Canada. The unit hired about 65 new employees in 2018, including Bryan Powell, an executive business coach who used to be with Wells Fargo, and Sarah Duey, vice president of Trust Services, who is a  Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and attorney.

The firm also promoted COO Lantz Hunt to the role of chief transformation officer to support incoming advisors. According to Carson Group, this appointment is “the first C-level role” for advisor transitions.  

The more advisors see the value in what we bring to the table and the people we’re adding to directly support them, the more it feeds our mission — and our ability — to make seismic shifts in 2019,” Carson added.

In December, Carson said he was dropping his own FINRA license, because Carson Group has developed a better structure to handle commissions that would not cause any changes for investor clients.

Carson Group COO Teri Shepherd said at the time that the firm was setting up a limited-use broker-dealer for commissions tied to assets that it will offer to buy from partners who want to end this side of their business and “go RIA only” (as Carson himself is doing).

— Check out Ron Carson’s Registration Drop Shows ‘FINRA’s Days Are Numbered’ on ThinkAdvisor.