Recruitment Roundup: Ameriprise, Sanctuary Wealth, Kestra And Cetera

Chris Latham,
Deputy Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Ameriprise Recruits Wells Fargo Advisors With $375 Million, Sanctuary Wealth Adds $564 Million Team From Merrill Lynch, Kestra Brings On $650 Million Canton Wealth Partners And Cetera Invests In $2.5 Billion CCR Wealth Management

This edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup covers a range of mid- to large-sized deals with well-known firms. We look at Ameriprise recruiting Wells Fargo advisors in Minnesota and Illinois, Merrill Lynch losing teams to Sanctuary Wealth and Kestra Financial as well as Cetera Financial Group taking a minority-stake strategic investment in CCR Wealth Management.

1. Ameriprise Recruits Wells Fargo Advisors In Minnesota And Illinois With $375 Million

Former Wells Fargo advisors
are shifting gears

The branch channel of Ameriprise recruited two former Wells Fargo financial advisors running separate practices. John DeMarco is based in Orland Park, Illinois, and Chad Villagomez is based in Wayzata, Minnesota. Villagomez is accompanied by Greg Siers, a registered practice associate.

The Villagomez and Siers team, which has more than 25 years of collective industry experience, manages $241 million in client assets and is supported by Ameriprise Branch Manager Adam Lukens. DeMarco, who has 24 years of experience, manages $134 million and is supported by Ameriprise Complex Director Jay Hubbard.

“Ameriprise has an impressive track record for client satisfaction and for driving client focused growth,” Villagomez said in the press release. “I’m interested in practice acquisitions to build out my team,” DeMarco also said in the press release. “I look forward to harnessing the extensive resources provided by Ameriprise to find, vet, and complete an acquisition while continuing to provide an excellent experience for my clients.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

2. Sanctuary Wealth Adds $564 Million Retirement Plan Consultants From Merrill Lynch

Ready for retirement

A Plano, Texas-based team left Merrill Lynch for Indianapolis-based Sanctuary Wealth. Christopher Cervantes leads Valorous Advisors, formerly known as Cervantes Group & Associates, retirement plan consulting specialists advising on approximately $564 million.

Cervantes has appeared on the Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors 2022, Barron’s America’s Top 1200 Financial Advisors State-by-State 2021 and Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors 2020 lists. Joining him at Sanctuary Wealth are his former Merrill Lynch teammates Senior Wealth Planner Tracey Gledhilland Relationship Manager Larry Jackson.

“Corporate interference has become more and more disruptive over recent years,” Cervantes said in the press release. “It became clear to me that we could offer our clients a better experience as an independent firm free from those distractions.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

3. Kestra Brings On Georgia-Based Canton Wealth Partners, Overseeing $650 Million

Small business owners

Roswell, Georgia-based Canton Wealth Partners left Merrill Lynch for Kestra Private Wealth Services(Kestra PWS), a hybrid RIA subsidiary of Kestra Financial. The team manages approximately $650 million in assets, and specializes in serving corporate executives and small business owners.

Managing Partner Matt West leads the team, which also includes Managing Partner Benji McLeod, Managing Partner David Combs, Registered Client Associate Angela Moore and Client Associate Hardy Fortson. Kestra PWS has worked with more than 30 single- and multi-team offices across the country.

“We looked at dozens of firms with different models, but what stood out with Kestra PWS was the people,” the Canton Wealth Partners team said in the press release. “There are a lot of logistics that go into this type of transition, but Kestra PWS has the expertise to easily navigate complex situations, making this a smooth journey.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

4. Cetera Makes Strategic Investment In $2.5 Billion AUM CCR Wealth Management

Searching for investment opportunities

Cetera Financial Group took a minority-stake strategic investment in Westborough, Massachusetts-based CCR Wealth Management. The team, which is led by Managing Partner David Borden and consists of more than 35 members, has approximately $2.5 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Borden is a member of the Cetera Advisors Advisory Council. CCR Wealth Management has been affiliated with Cetera Advisors since 2000, when CCR was a two-person firm, according to the press release. Cetera described the investment as an example of how other advisory teams can take advantage of its solutions and technology to grow assets.

“It’s compelling to see how Cetera’s growth solutions have attracted even more capital to CCR’s highly impressive assets,” Cetera CEO Adam Antoniades said in the press release. “Moreover, it’s tremendously rewarding to offer advisors an additional path, outside of our succession and buyout solutions.”

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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