Raymond James’ independent channel recruited two advisors in California, with a total of $220 million in client assets: Thad Ortez,, AWMA, in Modesto, who formerly worked for Wells Fargo Advisors, and  Michele Ing, CFP and AAMS, in King City, who used to be with Edward Jones.

Ortez has nearly 20 years in the business and has been with Wells Fargo, Wachovia Securities and World Savings (both later acquired by Wells Fargo). Ortez serves a variety of clients, including almond farmers and growers.

Ing spent 14 years with Edward Jones and has more than 30 years of industry experience. Joining her at Raymond James are Alicia Trujillo, office manager, and Christopher Cogar, client services manager.

“Becoming an independent practice and partnering with Raymond James is a great move for my clients and their needs,” according to Ing. “I witnessed firsthand the inclusive culture and access to leadership during the firm’s Women’s Symposium and again at my home office visit to St. Petersburg during my due diligence process.”

More Wells Fargo Departures

LPL Financial said it recruited Team Preheim Advisory from Wells Fargo, a group based in Fresno, California, with about $105 million in assets that was founded by Karl Preheim.

“I have worked with some of my clients for over 25 years and focus on listening and catering to their individual financial needs to be able to help them work toward long-term financial success,” Preheim said, in a statement.

“I had to find an independent broker-dealer that allows me to provide custom wealth management to my clients. LPL’s platform accomplishes that,” the advisor explained, adding that he is working to help his three sons work in wealth management.

Ameriprise, SSN Updates

Ameriprise Financial says that Calvin R. Kong has joined its employee channel from Morgan Stanley in Mitchel Field, New York, on Long Island. The advisor operates his practice as the Kahn and Kong Group, which has about $141 million in assets.

“After careful deliberation, I decided to move to Ameriprise because it is known for its client-centric culture, and its commitment to comprehensive financial advice,” he said in a statement.

Kong started in the business at Edward Jones in 2007. He was with Merrill Lynch from 2012 to 2013, when he moved to Morgan Stanley.

Kong keeps the practice under both his name and that of his late business partner and mentor, Harold Kahn, who died two years ago. The two advisors worked together for eight years. “It’s an honor to continue the legacy he started with my practice,” according to Kong.

In other news, Securities Service Network, which is owned by Ladenburg Thalmann, says it added Retirement Planning Group (RPG), based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which has some $180 million in client assets. Earlier, the group worked with Ameritas Investment Corporation.

RPG includes three financial advisors, an insurance coordinator and two support staff. Dave Kopyc, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor with 35 years of financial services experience, leads the practice; he also hosts a weekly radio program on retirement planning.

“We affiliated with SSN because it combines the best of a boutique service culture with high-touch advisor support, incredible access to the firm’s senior leaders and a friendly approach to the corporate RIA,” according to Kopyc.

Formed in 1983, SSN works with over 330 independent advisors with about $13 billion in assets. It is based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“We’ve had an incredibly productive year of building out all the key groundwork we need to thrive as a provider of comprehensive solutions to tax-savvy financial planners who are seeking more sophisticated platforms and looking for partners that go beyond high-volume turnkey service,” explained SSN President and CEO Wade Wilkinson, in a statement. “Recruiting RPG demonstrates our success on that front.”

This recruiting news could pave the wave for further results, according to Jeff Nash, CEO of the consulting firm BridgeMark Strategies, who says that SSN has “built a stealth presence” in the tax-savvy financial planning space in recent years.

Combined with “the resources and capabilities they have through Ladenburg, [this] potentially creates significant appeal for SSN among professionals who are both tax credentialed and running a real wealth management business with sophisticated needs,” Nash explained.

 Other Developments

RBC Wealth Management says advisor Reva Shakkottai is now the branch manager of its Manhattan Beach, California, office near Los Angeles.

Shakkottai, senior vice president and senior portfolio manager of Portfolio Focus, also will continue to work with the Specialized Strategies Group, which resides in RBC’s nearby Century City office.

She has over 20 years of experience, the last 10 of which have been with RBC Wealth. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

“Increasing the number of women in leadership positions is a continued focus for our firm,” said Kristen Kimmell, chief of staff at RBC Wealth, in a statement. “Reva is extremely motivated and has continuously demonstrated the leadership skills needed to succeed, and we are thrilled she will now be leading the Manhattan Beach office.”

Cresset Capital Management says it has appointed Bill Rudnick as general counsel. Rudnick recently served as a partner with DLA Piper, a global law firm. Rudnick and DLA Piper have been working with Chicago-based Cresset since its inception in 2017.

Cresset offers wealth management, investment advisory, planning and other services through Cresset Asset Management, an SEC registered Investment Advisor with $3-plus billion in assets under management.

“When Cresset was founded, we had a simple yet powerful vision: to reinvent the way people experience wealth by expanding access to a proven ecosystem of ideas, solutions and talent. Bill has played a critical role in helping Cresset achieve that vision since our beginning, and we are thrilled to have him formally join our independent, employee- and client-owned firm,” according to Cresset co-founder Eric Becker.

Since 2017, Cresset has recruited more than 90 team members to its seven offices. Most recently, the firm’s private investing group, Cresset Partners, engaged DLA Piper as legal counsel for its new Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) Fund.