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Hybrid RIA Steward Partners is adding a independent contractor model to its existing business that will provide indie advisors with equity in the firm.

The group, which is an employee-owned, independent advisor partnership associated with Raymond James, says is rolling out the 1099 channel “in response to increased advisor requests for local autonomy, coupled with the significant resources and equity opportunity that are unique to Steward.”

“Our new affiliate model was created with entrepreneurial advisors in mind,” according to CEO Jim Gold. “We know that different advisors have different needs, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand and evolve our business by offering advisors more options as they consider the move to independence.”

Started in 2013, Steward Partners now has more than 100 advisors in about 20 offices nationwide. It has added 18 advisors and six offices this year. For instance, the Dooley Group moved to Steward in Austin from Merrill Lynch, where the team worked with $134 million in client assets.

Gold adds that the 1099 model is being made available to advisors wanting to go independent and existing indie advisors who may want to “consider joining the Steward family.”

“We continue to hear from advisors that recognize the value Steward Partners provides, and we believe this is an important step in our continued evolution as a firm and something that will take us to the next level and continue to support our strong growth,” said President Hy Saporta in a statement.

In April, the RIA obtained a $50 million minority investment from the Cynosure Group, an alternatives asset manager and advisor. Steward counts Charlie Johnston, the former CEO of Smith Barney and president of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, among its board members.

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