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$1B Group Breaks Away From Cambridge

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Plymouth, Minnesota-based Berger Financial Group has left Cambridge Investment Research to become an independent RIA, taking about $1 billion of assets under management with it.

The breakaway RIA, founded in 1981, has more than 40 employees overall, more than 50% of whom are women. The team includes 14 advisors, six of whom are women.

“We hope to add another two [advisors] before year end,” Mark Berger said Friday. “We will continue to add the right people to our team.”

Breaking away to become an independent RIA “has been on our minds for about four years [but] we began our … work in earnest around two years ago,” Berger explained. “We knew we needed time to plan out such a large shift, being particularly careful to avoid unintended consequences.”

Its executive team also includes Larry Berger, chairman (and Mark’s father); Nick Asmus, president; and April Bortscheller, vice president of operations. These three individuals, along with Mark, also serve as advisors.

“We support independent financial professionals being able to make choices for their businesses based on their objectives and how they choose to serve their clients,” Cambridge said in a statement.

The “extra flexibility afforded by taking this last step toward true independence was increasingly important for our own flexibility,” Mark explained.

Specifically, it’s given the firm the ability to “implement new technologies,” and do so quickly, as well as the ability to “access certain types of specialized investments,” he said.

The RIA now uses Charles Schwab for custody and clearing. Hardin Compliance Consulting was a “pivotal partner in our transition,” according to Mark.