Boston-based RIA Mayflower Advisors has selected BNY Mellon’s Pershing as its primary custodian and broker-dealer for advisory assets after breaking away from Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (FiNet) after 15 years.
The boutique investment and financial advisory firm has $3.75 billion in assets under management and has become “fully independent.”
Led by the father-and-son team of Lloyd and Lawrence Glazer, as well as Steven Dimitriou, the group includes 35 staff and has had 16-19% annualized asset growth from 2010-2020.
About 60-65% of Mayflower’s assets are in corporate retirement plans, with clients that include startups and large firms across a variety of sectors such as biotech, lodging, pro sports, technology and pharmaceutics, along with non-profit groups, according to Dimitriou.
The other 35-40% of assets are owned by individual clients, who are mostly high net worth and mass affluent, he said in a recent interview.
“Steve, Larry and I have worked together since 1999 and opened our first office back in 2002,” according to Lloyd Glazer.
“Mayflower Advisors has always been rooted in relationships,” he explained. “We view this Mayflower team and our three generations of clients as family, and it’s a privilege to help our clients meet their long-term goals — in both good times and challenging ones like we’ve seen this past year.”
“There’s different flavors of independence in the industry,” Lawrence Glazer told ThinkAdvisor. What Mayflower now has is “true independence from top to bottom in terms of all the decisions you make every day — not only as a business owner, but in terms of technology and all the tools, how you staff, how you service clients,” he explained.
Many firms classify themselves as independent RIAs, the junior Glazer said, but they’re really “IINOs — independent in name only — because they’re not really independent. They can’t make any of the decisions independently in terms of technology or any of the things that affect their clients or how they invest in their business.”
The move to Pershing “gives us the freedom to invest directly in the areas that most benefit our clients at a time when the industry is really doing the opposite and is cutting back,” he said.
While the “flexibility” of working with FiNet was “great for many, many years …,” Dimitriou said, “as the marketplaces evolved, our clients — and frankly our advisors — have been asking for more flexibility in terms of technology, more flexibility in terms of product offering and also in custody.”
Mayflower selected Pershing due to the BNY Mellon division’s “track record of stability, security, innovation and high-touch service solutions,” according to a statement from the RIA. “Pershing’s expertise and strong balance sheet complement Mayflower Advisors’ rich client experience and will bolster its expansion as an independent.”
Meanwhile, “to further address the increasing need for greater flexibility to leverage all that the marketplace has to offer, Mayflower Advisors’ wealth managers now affiliate independently” with BNY Mellon Pershing’s Private Client Services as its broker-dealer and “will also offer the opportunity to work with other leading custodians,” the RIA added.
Mayflower also is partnering with Fusion Financial Partners for technology and operations infrastructure, capital solutions and insurance solutions.
The firm has long seen the value of investing in digital technologies, and it’s made a “seven-figure” investment in it, according to Lawrence Glazer.
One of the latest examples of that investment is the recent launch of the first Mayflower Advisors app. Its customizable mobile interface offers streamlined access, via 128-bit encryption, for all account data, including managed portfolio activity and balances, linked outside accounts, interactive and historic performance reporting, and personal vault storage archive.
Mayflower also launched a redesigned website that it said better reflects the firm’s “client-centric, entrepreneurial culture; team-based service model and commitment to community outreach,” it said.
Breaking Away in the Pandemic
Despite travel restrictions and other challenges of breaking away during a pandemic, the firm says it added $165 million in new assets ($65 million in wealth management and $100 million in retirement plan assets) during its recent transition to becoming a fully independent RIA.
The shift away from FiNet took place “in waves, beginning in July, and we moved our last personnel over to the independent RIA in October” this year, Dimitriou said.
While it was easier to get ahold of many clients early on in the process (due to the pandemic lockdowns), one challenge was knowing which of some clients’ two homes to reach them at, he said. But the firm avoided one challenge that at least some other breakaway RIAs experienced by not having to physically move its offices.