Recruitment Roundup: Cetera, Merit, LPL And Perigon

Cetera Recruits $140 Million Team, Merit Financial Advisors Adds $277 Million With Dual Acquisitions, LPL Welcomes $600 Million Merrill Lynch Team And Perigon Merges With $750 Million PM Wealth Management

Chris Latham,
Deputy Managing Editor,
Wealth Solutions Report

In this edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup, we cover four deals in the lower-middle to upper-middle size range. Kansas City-based Cramer Capital Management affiliated with Cetera Financial Group. Merit Financial Advisors acquired Ceponis Financial Group and Brook Wealth Management in Connecticut. Advisors at Broadway Wealth Management left Merrill Lynch to affiliate with the Linsco by LPL Financial employee model. And Perigon Wealth Management announced a merger with PM Wealth Managementas well as a strategic alliance with Prager Metis.

1. Cetera Recruits Kansas City-Based Cramer Capital Management

Cramer Capital Management, a Kansas City-based team led by founders Bruce and Dawn Cramer that oversees $140 million in client assets, affiliated with Cetera Financial Group. The practice provides financial planning services to families and businesses.

Cetera’s latest deal follows a second quarter in which the firm attracted a record $3.6 billion in assets through several notable advisory team recruitments. Those deals include the $1 billion recruitment of Harvest Wealth in June from Merrill Lynch. As of Dec. 31, 2021, Cetera oversees approximately $353 billion in assets under administration (AUA) and $122 billion in assets under management (AUM), according to the press release.

Open access to senior management

“We look forward to a closer relationship with our broker-dealer, and to the sophisticated growth resources that will help our business reach new heights,” Bruce and Dawn Cramer said in the press release. “The open access to senior management and personalized support Cetera will provide are among many benefits that make this affiliation a logical choice for our business, our team and our clients.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

2. Merit Acquires Ceponis Financial Group And Brook Wealth Management

Atlanta-based Merit Financial Advisors acquired two firms in Connecticut, Ceponis Financial Group (CFG) and Brook Wealth Management (BWM). Together, the acquisitions bring in approximately $277 million in client assets.

Christopher Ceponis leads CFG, which oversees approximately $174 million from Ridgefield. Daryl LePage leads BWM, which oversees approximately $103 million from Rocky Hill. Ceponis and LePage each have 25 years of financial services experience. These deals are the ninth and tenth acquisitions since December 2020 by Merit, which oversees a total $6.1 billion in assets.

Evaluating potential partners

“We evaluated a number of different potential partners, but we had the greatest synergy with Merit’s team,” Ceponis said in the press release. “The merger will enhance the offerings for our clients, as well as streamline and centralize back-office operations,” LePage said in the press release.

To learn more, view the press release here.

3. Ex-Merrill Lynch Advisors Affiliate With Linsco By LPL Financial Employee Model

A team that reported overseeing approximately $600 million in advisory and brokerage assets at Merrill Lynch has affiliated with the Linsco by LPL Financial employee model. The Broadway Wealth Management team will operate with offices in Oakland, Calif., and Savannah, Ga.

Its financial professionals include Justin Hurd, David Earl Spencer, George Alessandria, Brandy Ebron, Sylvia Jorgensen and Ryan Larragoity. LPL launched the Linsco employee model in 2020, and promotes the brand as ensuring advisors retain complete ownership of their client relationships with payouts ranging from 50% to 70%.

Minimizing time on
administrative work

“We were essentially looking for the best model to serve our clients and grow our practice without any distraction, and aligning with Linsco by LPL enables our firm to do just that,” Hurd said in the press release. “With this move, our team can streamline processes and minimize the time we spend doing administrative work,” Spencer said in the press release.

To learn more, view the press release here.

4. Perigon To Merge With PM Wealth Management, Forge Alliance With Prager Metis

San Francisco-based RIA Perigon Wealth Management announced plans to merge with PM Wealth Management, an RIA with main offices in New York and New Jersey, as well as to form a strategic alliance with New York-based Prager Metis, an accounting and advisory firm affiliated with Prager Metis International. PM Wealth previously was part of Prager Metis.

Perigon oversees approximately $3.6 billion in client assets and PM’s nearly $750 million in AUM will give the combined firm more than $4.3 billion in assets. According to PM Wealth Management Co-Founder Marc Specht, the acquisition expands PM Wealth’s back-office support and custodial abilities due to Perigon’s relationships with Pershing, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity.

Capitalizing on talent and expertise

“We are thrilled to have PM Wealth Management’s team of talented advisors bring their expertise to our firm,” Jonathan Hoy, Perigon’s Chief Operating Officer, said in the press release. “Enhancing our expertise and extending our trusted advisor relationship with our clients to our new partner Perigon is very important,” Glenn Friedman, CEO of Prager Metis, said in the press release.

To learn more, view the press release here.

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

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