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Industry Spotlight > RIAs

BofA, Wells Fargo Veterans Launch RIA

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What You Need to Know

  • The new RIA's team members previously advised on almost $6 billion in client assets.
  • Fidelis Capital serves just under 200 families and custodies with Fidelity.
  • Fidelis Capital's teams are based in Dallas and Tampa, Florida.

Several Wells Fargo and Bank of America veterans have teamed up to launch Fidelis Capital, an advisor-owned RIA whose team members previously advised on almost $6 billion in client assets, the new firm said Monday.

The goal of Fidelis Capital is to provide clients with a “superior private banking experience by surrounding clients with a diverse team of financial specialists who get to know each client personally in order to best provide for their financial needs,” the company said in a news release.

Fidelis Capital serves just under 200 families, custodies with Fidelity and its teams are based in Dallas and Tampa, Florida.

“Fidelity’s commitment to working with us in developing a best in class client experience along with asset security, especially in the cyber area, was a differentiator,” Maxwell Smith, Fidelis Capital chief operating officer, told ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday.

The new firm’s team of former rivals “deliver a tailored suite of services to each client, providing access to experts in areas such as investment and specialty asset management, business transition advisory services, wealth, estate, and tax planning, personal risk management, bill pay and reporting, and fiduciary lending services,” Fidelis Capital said.

Explaining why the one-time rivals decided to join forces and start Fidelis Capital now specifically, Fidelis Capital CEO Rick Simonetti said: “A few years ago, the private banking model started changing and decentralizing resources; they still offered access to specialists, but these specialists were no longer local, or they were phased out.”

It is “our aim to revive the client experience and surround our clients with a group of specialists that are experts in key areas of financial planning and that know the clients personally,” he added.

Simonetti spent 22 years as senior managing director of the Southern region, as well as national head of wealth planning at Wells Fargo Private Wealth Management. He started his career in 1988 at Deloitte as a senior tax specialist and spent 11 years there, and then joined Wells Fargo, where he spent 22 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“In the past few years, the private banking model has changed drastically,” according to Neale Ellis, Fidelis Capital founding partner & co-chief investment officer.

“With the launch of Fidelis Capital, we are on a mission to revive the access to a team of experts and give ultra-high-net-worth families, institutions, and other private banking clients the kind of team that can manage not some, but all of their financial matters, giving them back what money can’t buy — time!” Ellis said in a statement.

The Dallas team includes an asset management team made up of brothers Ellis and Matthew Ellis, both founding partners, and relationship manager Libby Castle.

Before founding Fidelis Capital, Neale Ellis was a managing director and senior portfolio manager at Bank of America Private Bank, where he helped found and co-manage the Private Bank Managed Active Core portfolio, according to Fidelis Capital. He started his financial career in 2000 with Goldman Sachs as a Private Wealth Management advisor, according to his LinkedIn profile. Earlier, he spent 12 years as a surface warfare officer with the U.S. Navy.

Matthew Ellis has 24 years of experience in the financial industry, most recently serving as managing director at Wells Fargo Private Bank. His experience also includes time with Goldman Sachs, Smith Barney and Bank of America/US Trust after starting his career as a naval flight officer with the U.S. Navy.

The advisor team at the Tampa office is led by Matthew Michaels, a 25-year financial services professional who was a portfolio manager at Wells Fargo, and Paul Ayotte, who has over 24 years of experience, most recently 18 years at Wells Fargo Private Bank as a wealth advisor.

(Image: Paul Hodkinson/Adobe)


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