Transitions, Transactions & Promotions: Hollywood-Caliber Concierge Services Coming to an Advisor Near You

Strategic Alliances Focus on Crypto, Concierge and Insurance Services, LPL Keeps its Recruiting Lead, Coldstream Wealth and tru Independence Aim at Expansion 

Julius Buchanan,
Senior Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

With the end of February upon us, we give you the latest installment of our monthly Transitions, Transactions & Promotions column, highlighting noteworthy activity in advisor transactions, M&A, promotions, people moves and strategic alliances. 

This relatively short month brought a flurry of activity, with a notable increase in promotions, people moves and strategic alliances, alongside a slowdown in M&A announcements. 

Before we examine each story, here’s a quick overview of activity in February:

  • LPL maintains the lead in advisor recruitment, while Advisor Group’s latest recruit demonstrates how the precision client targeting of the trend in providing services for unique demographics meets the expansionary trend of holistic advice.
A flurry of exciting events for you this February!
  • Strategic alliances take on an M&A angle as we cover two alliances created through investment, one expanding CI Financial’s crypto capabilities and the other giving Hightower advisors access to concierge services for ultra-high net worth investors, as well as RetireOne’s strategic partnership enabling insurance wraps for IRAs.

Without further delay, the highlights and details are below:

Advisor Transactions 

1. LPL Recruits Firms Totaling Over $2 Billion in Client Assets

This February, LPL Financial has announced recruitments of three Salt Lake City-based wirehouse advisors to form Outcome Private Wealth, with $1 billion in client assets, Guy Blakely and Karl Willard, with approximately $320 million in assets, father-son team Steve and Jeremy Friedman, with $200 million in client assets, St. Louis-based Planify Group, with $550 million in assets and Mark Ross, with $100 million in assets. 

We’re comprehensively personalizing
our clients’ experiences!

Why it matters: LPL continues a stunning performance from December and January, attracting a broad range of advisors and hefty client assets to its platforms, aligning with different firms such as Stratos Wealth Partners, Cornerstone Wealth Management, Silverleaf Wealth Management and Synergy Wealth Alliance. Other IBDs and corporate RIAs must discern the drivers behind LPL’s successes to compete. 

For more information, view the press releases here, here, here, here and here.

2. Advisor Group Welcomes Lars Lambrecht With $155 Million In Assets To Its Platform

Rehoboth, Massachusetts-based Lars Lambrecht, with $155 million in client assets, joined SagePoint Financial, an independent broker-dealer of Advisor Group, the nation’s largest network of independent wealth management firms. Mr. Lambrecht, who provides financial planning, wealth management and estate and tax planning, will rebrand his business as Island Time Financial Services. As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Mr. Lambrecht specializes in guiding clients through divorce. 

Why it matters: First, this transaction bolsters Advisor Group and SagePoint Financial’s continued recruiting strength. In addition, Mr. Lambrecht’s divorce specialty indicates not only the breadth of advisors under Advisor Group but also a trend towards advisors finding ways to serve clients in a manner that is holistic – as Mr. Lambrecht provides estate and tax planning alongside standard planning and management – while also tailored to particular groups with unique needs. 

To learn more, see the press release here.

Promotions & People Moves

3. Coldstream Wealth Management Opens Boise Office, Continues Ongoing Expansion

Leading Pacific Northwest wealth management firm and RIA Coldstream Wealth Management opened an office in Boise, Idaho, placing Idaho native and 10-year industry veteran David McIntosh as office lead. With the move, Coldstream brings its high net worth and ultra-high net worth client services to Idaho in the latest step towards its goal of becoming the leading wealth manager across the Northwest. 

Why it matters: Coldstream’s Idaho office move is framed by the backdrop of a firm leadership decision to remain employee-owned and buck the trend of private equity as well as the growth achieved from last year’s mergers with Paracle Advisors and Rosenbaum Financial without private equity funding. Coldstream believes a private equity-free and employee-owned firm delivers better service as advisors focus on client relationships rather than widening margins. 

While the M&A trend is deeply entrenched in the wealth management industry at current, this countertrend of employee ownership deserves attention as a potential giant killer.

For more information, view the press release here.

4. Atria Wealth Solutions Expands Leadership Team with Appointment of Amanda Hawley as General Counsel

Wealth management solutions and independent broker-dealer holding company Atria Wealth Solutions hired industry legal veteran Amanda Hawley as General Counsel overseeing Atria’s legal, regulatory and compliance functions. Ms. Hawley previously served as Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel in the Regulatory Strategy and Special Investigations Unit of LPL Financial, covering a broad range of litigation, risk and compliance issues.

Adding in another high-caliber talent
to our leadership team!

Why it matters: Hawley won’t just lead the regulatory, legal and compliance functions for Atria headquarters, she will take the reins of those functions throughout the entirety of Atria, including its broker-dealers. The same industry trend of centralization of legal and compliance functions due to an increasingly complex regulatory and legal atmosphere also operates between industry titans and their own subsidiaries. 

To learn more, please see the press release here.  

5. Tru Independence Appoints Amit Dogra as President

Open architecture platform and services provider tru Independence announced 20-year industry veteran Amit Dogra will take the reins as President, working alongside CEO Craig Stuvland. Tru Independence provides a broad range of services including C-suite level personnel, turnkey technology and a range of expert consulting. Mr. Dogra makes the move from Sanctuary Wealth.

Why it matters: Mr. Dogra’s arrival to this newly created position signals tru Independence’s focus on growth and evolving the business model. In an industry aimed at holistic, individualized client experience, the tailoring of a full suite of advisor services aims to replicate the same for small advisory businesses, stimulating rapid growth for advisor consulting and services firms.

6. Edmond Walters Joins YieldX Board of Advisors

Income investment analytics and modeling platform provider YieldX announced that the Founder of eMoney Advisor and Apprise Labs, LLC, Edmond Walters, joined its board of advisors. Mr. Walters brings expertise in building and scaling fintech companies with insight gained from a unique background as both a financial advisor and fintech entrepreneur.

Why it matters: Placing a successful fintech entrepreneur on your board of advisors signals a move to rapidly expand your business and as stated in the press release, set “tangible goals for the company’s next evolution.” Specializing in technology solutions for fixed income investing, YieldX’s move follows on an $18 million fundraising and strategic partnerships, including with Envestnet.  

For more information, view the press release here.

7. Riskalyze Appoints Dr. Shari Hensrud as Vice President of Risk and Analytics

True to our mission,
we’ll empower the world to invest fearlessly!

The company that invented the Risk Number and the risk-centric platform that leverages it, Riskalyze, appointed Dr. Shari Hensrud as Vice President of Risk and Analytics. A mathematician with a Ph.D. in Corporate Finance, Investments, Banking and Econometrics, Dr. Hensrud intends to leverage data and analytics to develop innovations that disrupt and redefine portfolio analytics and risk management.

Why it matters: An appointment as the head of risk in a firm that stakes its reputation on risk management is no small feat. With this move, Riskalyze demonstrates a committed redoubling of efforts to employ advanced mathematics and data science to stay at the forefront of risk management in the financial advisory industry, which can lead to innovations that allow advisors and clients to rest a little easier.

To learn more, see the press release here

Strategic Alliances & Partnerships

8. CI Financial Advances Leadership Position in Crypto Offering with Investment in Newton Crypto

Will blockchain and cryptocurrencies shape the future of the financial services industry?

Canadian wealth and asset management giant CI Financial placed a minority stake strategic investment in Newton Crypto Ltd., a leading Canadian cryptoasset trading platform. Darie Urbanky, President and Chief Operating Officer of CI Financial stated: “We made this investment specifically to accelerate the timeline by which we can extend crypto trading capabilities to our wealth management clients.”

Why it matters: Valued at $20 million, this transaction only amounts to a drop in the ocean of CI Financial’s M&A activity previously discussed in this column, but it highlights the trend towards normalization of cryptoassets in the wealth management space. While it remains an asset class with greater volatility than traditional investments, crypto is rapidly maturing into a must-have for holistic financial planning.

For more information, view the press release here.

9. Hightower Makes Strategic Investment in Business Management Firm Grant Tani Barash & Altman

Wealth management firm and RIA Hightower has made a strategic investment in Beverly Hills-based Grant Tani Barash & Altman, a provider of personal CFO services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. The alliance provides Hightower advisors with access to sophisticated business management and family office services, while Grant Tani can scale operations through access to Hightower’s technology and middle- and back-office resources.

Why it matters: High and ultra-high net worth clients appreciate concierge, tailored services regardless of industry or location. Hightower’s move taps into a suite of resources and capabilities currently available to elite clients primarily in the entertainment industry, which will literally bring superstar services to clients thousands of miles from Hollywood. As technology increases advisors’ ability to leverage solution customization, look for more personalized concierge services aimed at this coveted class of clients.

To learn more, the press release is here.

10. RetireOne and Midland National Announce Availability of Dimensional Fund Advisors Investment Strategies in the Constance CDA

Inadequate retirement security
is a crisis we must face head-on!

RetireOne, a platform for fee-based insurance solutions, announced a collaboration with Dimensional Fund Advisors  and Midland National Life Insurance Company to offer three asset allocation models and 38 ETFs and mutual funds covered by Constance – a contingent deferred annuity, which allows RIAs to wrap client brokerage accounts, IRAs or Roth IRAs with lifetime income protection.

Why it matters: As we previously covered, financial advisors cannot overlook insurance products as clients increase expectations for comprehensive financial planning. Innovative products such as insurance and annuity wraps for traditional financial instruments may sound complicated, but as trends point increasingly towards insurance solutions for planning problems, advisors must find ways to stay knowledgeable and equipped.

For more information, see the press release here


Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at jbuchanan@wealthsolutionsreport.com

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