Doug Kentfield

Steward Partners has hired a former Morgan Stanley executive to be its first head of wealth management. 

The independent employee-owned RIA, which is associated with Raymond James, says Doug Kentfield will help support its 100-plus advisors in 21 offices. 

“Our team has been speaking with some of the industry’s top leaders, but it wasn’t until we met Doug that we knew we had found someone special who could help manage our quickly growing team of advisors,” according to Steward CEO Jim Gold.

Kentfield has over three decades in the business, having started at E.F. Hutton in 1986 and becoming a branch manager at Smith Barney in 1988. He moved up the ranks at Smith Barney through 2009. 

After that firm merged with Morgan Stanley, Kentfield served as head of wealth management for the Western Division, which included 225 branch offices and 4,750 advisors. He stayed in the post through 2014 and later worked at NextShares Solutions from 2015 to 2018.  

Kentfield said in a statement that Steward’s growth had been “virtually unmatched” and that “with the support of such a strong management team and Raymond James, I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.”

Founded in 2013, Steward recently announced a 1099/independent contractor affiliation model. The RIA has added 18 advisors and opened six new offices this year.