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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Raymond James, Steward Add Merrill Reps With $1B: Recruiting Roundup

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Recruiters at Raymond James and Steward Partners, an RIA associated with Raymond James’ independent channel, have brought on financial advisors from Merrill Lynch with a total of more than $1 billion in client assets.

Raymond James recruited advisor Ariel Bobroff to its employee channel from Merrill, where he managed about $600 million in client assets. He will now work in Raymond James & Associates’ Beverly Hills, California.

“The decreased bureaucracy, promotion of autonomy, and the non-existence of a bank pressuring me to cross-sell their products were all attractive features of how Raymond James does business,” according to Bobroff. 

The advisor will be part of Global Wealth Solutions Group. He spent the past decade at Merrill Lynch and earlier was with UBS for seven years.

Also, Raymond James’ independent channel has recruited Jimmy “J.R.” Blackburn and Reed Potter, Jr. — in Pikeville, Kentucky. Earlier, they were with Merrill Lynch and managed about $241 million in client assets.

Team members moving with them include Cheryl Robinette, CFP, advisor Brianna LeRae Blackburn and advisor Zachary Lukins, as well as staff members Evelyn Bear and Misty R. Potter. They do business as operate as Legacy Financial Investment Services.

“When reviewing firms, we were looking for somewhere we could really get a fresh start,” said Blackburn, in a statement. “Raymond James felt like the right place to do that … “

Blackburn has been in financial services for over 26 years. Potter has 22 years of experience in the business. 

Steward Partners says two advisors moved to its office in Manchester, New Hampshire, from Merrill, where they managed $160 million in assets: Kevin Taube and Ashley Berberian.

“Through years of hard work and dedication to their clients, Kevin and Ashley have distinguished themselves as one of the top advisory teams in New Hampshire,” said Jim Connors, divisional president at Steward Partners, in an office. 

Taube has 12 years of industry experience at Merrill, while Berbian spent seven years with the wirehouse.

“The independence and added flexibility Steward Partners provides will allow us to better service our clients on almost every level,”  Taube said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Raymond James’ employee channel welcomed Erik Weiss, CFP, in Greenwood, Indiana. He made the move from JP Morgan Securities, where he previously managed about $200 million.

“I was initially attracted to the firm’s client-first values and vision … ,” according to Weiss. “Additionally, while many firms have strong technology and support offerings, Raymond James has a larger breadth and depth of resources to support my practice as it grows.”

Weiss has over 15 years of industry experience and began his career with Charles Schwab.

Kestra, KMS News

Kestra Private Wealth Services, an RIA subsidiary of Kestra Financial, says advisor Kim Hodges has moved to its platform and has affiliated with White Cap Wealth Management (White Cap), which has been with Kestra PWS since 2017.

Based in Provo, Utah, Hodges has about four decades of industry experience. He used to be with Wedbush Morgan Securities.

White Cap oversee $200 million in assets, including $60 million transferred over from Hodges’ book of business.

“We’re pleased to welcome Kim to our team,” according to David Johnston, president of White Cap Wealth Management. “His experience, coupled with his commitment to client service and building long-term relationships, makes him the perfect fit.” 

KMS Financial Services, a unit of Ladenburg Thalmann, with 350 advisors, says Patrick Funke & Associates has joined it in Phoenix. Funke, an investment firm focused on qualified retirement plans, works with $230 million in client assets.

KMS CEO Errin Ford said in a statement, “We are excited to welcome Patrick Funke & Associates, a practice that is committed to building strong and lasting relationships with their clients. This aligns perfectly with our own business values and the KMS approach to service.”

Patrick Funke, a 29-year industry veteran, is the firm’s president. He was with Geneos Wealth for the past 14 years.

LPL Hiring

LPL Financial said a $275 million team from Lincoln Financial Services has joined its platform in Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hege Financial Group, founded in 1979 by Ed Hege, who now works with his son Will, as well as advisors Bill Gribble, Perry Hudspeth and Steven Rubin.

The senior Hege has been in the busines for 16 years, most of which he spent with Lincoln. 

LPL also recruited a $125 million advisor from Ameriprise Financial, Christopher Sweeney. The advisor now leads Sweeney Wealth Advisors in Toledo, Ohio. He has been an advisor for 29 years. 

Other Developments

Snowden Lane Partners, an independent, advisor-owned firm, opened a new office in Chicago, the firm’s 11th U.S. location. It also brought on the Boyd Richard Group, led by Thomas J. Boyd and James S. Richard, who will be based in that office.

Boyd and Richard join Snowden from JP Morgan Securities, where they oversaw $180 million in client assets. Earlier, they worked together at Credit Suisse.  

“We’re excited to have them join and doubly excited for this to be our first Midwest office. We look forward to more good news as we look ahead to 2020,” said Snowden Chairman Lyle LaMothe. 

Snowden opened an office in Miami/Coral Gables in June.

Wealth Enhancement Group,  which works with $13.6 billion in client assets, has inked a deal to acquire RIA RCL Advisors of New York, with nearly $1.4 billion in assets. RCL Advisors has 12 employees, including five advisors.

The transaction is Wealth Enhancement Group’s 14th M&A over the past six years and gives the firm a second location in Manhattan.

Partner and founding member Barbara Raasch said, “We are thrilled to join Wealth Enhancement Group. The firm’s reputation in the financial advice space is second to none, and we look forward to working with its team to enhance our client service capabilities.”


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