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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Raymond James Nabs $1.6B Merrill, Wells Fargo Teams: Recruiting Roundup

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Raymond James added a team of three advisors from Wells Fargo with about $600 million to Advisor Select, a division of its employee broker-dealer, and a team with $1 billion from Merrill Lynch to its employee channel.

Geoffrey P. Sisk, Hynson H. Marvel and Jason Statuta — who have about 80 years of combined industry experience — come on board from Wells Fargo in Richmond, Virginia, as the Sisk & Marvel Investment Group of Raymond James, which in the past has had over $2.7 million in yearly production.

“First and foremost, we looked for a firm that was client focused, lived up to its expressed cultural values and was large enough to fully support our practice with sophisticated resources and services,” according to Sisk. “Additionally, because of our client mix, it was important to us that the firm has comprehensive trust and banking services in house.”

Sisk began his financial services career in 1984 with Branch, Cabell & Company, moving to Legg Mason in 1987. He joined Wheat First in 1991, which later was acquired by First Union and then by Wells Fargo.

Marvel started in the business in 2003 and joined Wells Fargo in 2008. Statuta has been in the industry since 1996. Before working for Wells Fargo, he was a vice president for Goldman Sachs for 11 years; prior to that, he worked as a regional vice president at Pioneer Investments and Putnam Investments.

In the Northeast, Raymond James’ employee channel welcomed William “Rusty” Seyle and Tim Hickey from Merrill Lynch. The two operate as Seyle Hickey Wealth Management in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where they have  had $3.6 million in annual production.

“After careful consideration, we determined that Raymond James supports and encourages our client focused approach, and is ultimately the best place for us and our clients going forward,” according to Seyle. “The firm allows us flexibility in what we can offer our clients, and provides an open architecture technology platform.”

Seyle worked at Merrill Lynch for more than 28 years as managing director, resident director and financial advisor.

Hickey, managing director and senior vice president, investments, was with Merrill for 25 years.. He began his financial services career in 1993 with Vanguard Group.

LPL Developments

The father-son practice Brookshire & Brookshire Wealth Management, formerly with Merrill Lynch, has joined LPL Financial’s broker-dealer and corporate registered investment advisor platforms in Lufkin, Texas. Previously, Brent and BJ Brookshire worked with about $100 million in client assets.

Brent worked for his family’s grocery business for 13 years before moving to financial services, which he has done for the past 20 years.

“It came down to offering and opportunity to better serve our clients. LPL offers a platform that allows us the freedom to provide objective financial guidance to our clients,” he said in a statement.

Rich Steinmeier, LPL Financial managing director and divisional president of Business Development, explained: “We welcome Brent and BJ to LPL, and are thrilled to be able to support a family business that is building a legacy and providing enduring support to their clients.”

In addition, LPL announced recently that Michigan Retirement Advisors has joined its broker-dealer and corporate RIA platforms. The team has worked with about $140 million of assets and used to be affiliated with FSC Securities, which is part of Advisor Group.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based firm is led by Steve Case. who has over 27 years of experience. He is joined by financial advisors Evan Pawloski and Adam Weiner, a former Navy Seal, as well as financial planner Ryan West, client manager Ashley Darga and specialist Pam Jankowski.

“Our firm’s focus is helping more people take action so they can be prepared for retirement,” Case said in a statement. “I found that LPL offers extensive support for advisors serving retirement plans, including having consultants to work with who are focused on this area of the business and a wide range of resources that I can use to help my clients work toward their retirement goals.”

Financial advisor Graham Nelson joined LPL Financial’s BD and corporate RIA platforms recently from Cadaret Grant. Since 2004, he has led Clinton, New York-based Mohawk Valley Capital Management, which has about $130 million of assets.

“I wanted to stay near my family and help locals with financial issues. Through networking and word of mouth, I built my practice one client at a time,” Nelson said in a statement.

Before joining LPL, Nelson was an advisor and the firm’s OSJ manager, supporting five other independent advisors.

Ladenburg Thalmann BD News

Meanwhile, Securities America – a subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann based in La Vista, Nebraska — has added Miller & Hurt Wealth Advisors, a two-advisor practice in Rockledge, Florida, with total client assets of $110 million; Hill & Associates, a three-advisor practice based in Lincoln, Nebraska, with total client assets of $82 million; and Duprez Financial, a two-advisor practice in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with total client assets of $53 million.

Gregg Johnson, Securities America’s executive vice president of branch office development and acquisitions, said in a statement, “Each of these practices has been built by hardworking, service-focused advisors that were seeking the cutting-edge technology and practice management expertise that define the Securities America platform and the resources available to advisors at Ladenburg’s IAB firms. We stand ready to help these three firms grow to the next level.”

These three firms used to be with Questar.

Stephen Hill, founder and president of Hill & Associates, said, “We appreciated that the team at Securities America is focused on providing the best service and technology in the industry. Even more than that, we were very impressed that they are real people who care about making our experience and that of our clients the best one possible, and they back that up through their friendly, open-door culture.”

Triad Advisors, a hybrid advisor-focused independent advisory and brokerage firm owned by Ladenburg Thalmann, has recruited Argent Bridge Advisors – an independent financial advisory firm with three advisors and roughly $275 million in total client assets – to its platform.

One of its main focuses is on helping women take charge of their finances through education and creative collaboration. It is based in Vienna, Virginia. Argent Bridge was previously affiliated with Spire Securities.

Argent Bridge’s advisors — Dianne Nolin, Cecile Hult and Eric Ashburn — have nearly 50 years of combined industry experience.

“We were drawn to Triad for its welcoming, collaborative culture and strong platform of value-added services,” Nolin said. “The capabilities Triad and Ladenburg Thalmann offer will help us elevate the planning and service experience we provide to clients as we progress toward our firm’s mission and growth goals.”

More Breakaway Brokers

Four UBS advisors — Steven Tenney, Joseph Powers, Helen Andreoli and Jack Piper —  have gone independent and partnered with Dynasty Financial Partners to form Great Diamond Partners of Portland, Maine.

Tenney, CEO of GDP, worked at UBS since 1993, most recently as senior vice president and senior portfolio manager.  Powers leads financial planning and insurance strategies; he was a UBS Private Wealth Advisor since 2000.

Andreoli is CFO and a 20-year veteran of the financial services industry, having worked at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and UBS. Piper works with individuals and families and was an advisor at UBS Wealth Management for four years; earlier, he worked at Bainco International Investors in Boston.

“We have always maintained that every element of what we do needs to be in our clients’ best interests.  Now we recognize the unquestionable benefits to clients in working as an independent firm, and the Dynasty structure allows us to execute on our vision,” according to Tenney.

“We are seeing veteran advisors with 20 plus years at their firms choosing to take the road to independence, and this movement is accelerating,” said Shirl Penney, CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners.  “Specific to Great Diamond Partners, they are deeply committed to our home state of Maine. As someone who was born and raised in Maine, I am particularly proud to partner with high-caliber advisors like Steve, Joe, Helen and Jack and their remarkable team, and we welcome them to our Network of independent advisors.”

GDP has selected Schwab to provide custody services for its clients’ assets and Black Diamond for consolidated asset and performance reporting.

Meanwhile, a team of Wells Fargo advisors has gone independent and launched Optas, an independent RIA, in San Francisco, where is works with highly successful entrepreneurs and now will use Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions.

The team is led by co-founders Fritz Glasser and Meghan Railey, who were with Wells Fargo for the past nine years and earlier worked for UBS.

Its team members include COO and CCO Michael Berger; Paul van den Tempel, senior investment analyst; and Ryan Klippel, associate financial planner.

“Our team has decades of experience with self-made earners and first-generation wealth creators. We’re excited to continue being expert problem-solvers on behalf of the newly wealthy,” according to Glasser.  

“After exploring our options, launching as an RIA was the natural progression. This decision provides us with the flexibility to work directly with our clients and tailor our service offering to meet their evolving needs,” Railey said in a statement.  “Our clients’ new-found wealth touches every facet of their lives. We’re well-equipped to help them navigate whatever complexities come their way.”

More Developments

Haven Tower Group, a public relations and marketing agency, says Larry Roth is now the chair of its board of advisors.

With more than 30 years of senior leadership experience, Roth is now managing partner of RLR Strategic Partners, a consultancy and M&A advisory firm affiliated with Berkshire Global Advisors, an international investment bank.  

Previously, Roth served as CEO of AIG Advisor Group, as well as CEO of Cetera Financial Group.

“Larry’s appointment to our Advisory Board underscores Haven Tower’s commitment to driving growth that is thoughtful, long-term and prioritizes exceptional client service above all else,” according to Joseph Kuo, president & managing partner of Haven Tower.


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