Recruitment Roundup: PCIA, Alera Group And Pinnacle Asset Management

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Prime Capital Investment Advisors Adds Two Firms, The Alera Group Acquires Two Firms Through The Ascent Group, And Fountain Financial Group Joins Raymond James Partner Pinnacle Asset Management

Our latest edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup covers a few multifaceted deals that companies announced at the start of the year. Prime Capital Investment Advisors added Stonnington Group and Earth Equity Advisors. Alera Group acquired Summit Group and Walsh & Nicholson Financial Group through The Ascent Group. And Fountain Financial Group joined Pinnacle Asset Management, a partner of Raymond James Financial Services.

1. Prime Capital Investment Advisors Adds $726 Million In Two Deals, Days Apart

On Jan. 3, Overland Park, Kansas-based Prime Capital Investment Advisors (PCIA) announced the acquisition of Pasadena, California-based Stonnington Group, whose five-member team oversees approximately $575 million in assets under management (AUM) for 275 clients. Park Sutton Advisors, a Waller Helms subsidiary, provided investment banking advisory services to Stonnington Group on the transaction.

Sustainable investments

On Jan. 5, PCIA announced a partnership with Asheville, North Carolina-based Earth Equity Advisors, a sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investments-focused firm with approximately $151 million in AUM. ECHELON Partners provided investment banking advisory services to Earth Equity Advisors on the transaction.

“The partnership with PCIA will open our collective team’s capabilities, expertise and deep resources to further benefit our clients here in Southern California as well as support other PCIA clients across the country,” Stonnington Group President Nick Stonnington said in a press release.

“Like myself and our team, our clients are passionate about saving the planet,” Earth Equity Advisors CEO Peter Krull said in a press release. “We wanted to ensure that our services and investment portfolios had the resources necessary to scale, so we can help more clients and advisors invest responsibly.”

To learn more, view the press releases here and here.

2. Alera Group Acquires The Ascent Group, Adding $2.8 Billion In Client Assets 

Deerfield, Illinois-based Alera Group acquired The Ascent Group, which employs 42 associates including 15 financial advisors through two affiliated companies: the Virginia Beach-based Summit Group and the Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Walsh & Nicholson Financial Group

Acquiring two affiliated companies

The deal adds $1.5 billion to Alera’s RIA business, which now oversees a total of approximately $7.5 billion in AUM, and $1.3 billion to its retirement plan services business. The Ascent Group also provides a turnkey asset management program (TAMP). In total, Alera Group has more than 4,000 financial professionals in more than 180 offices nationwide.

“We’re builders,” The Ascent Group Co-founder Jeff Silverman said in the press release, “And what drew us to Alera Group is the opportunity to keep building a better system – faster, leaner and more cost effective for clients. Now we can do so on a larger scale, reaching a larger number of advisors and investors.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

3. Fountain Financial Group Joins Raymond James Partner Pinnacle Asset Management

A deal with multifaceted inner-workings

Memphis, Tennessee-based Fountain Financial Group joined Pinnacle Asset Management, a division of Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners, a publicly traded company that oversaw approximately $40.1 billion in assets as of June 30, 2022. 

As a result of the deal, the advisors for Fountain Financial Group work through Raymond James Financial Services, which also is the company through which Pinnacle Financial Partners offers securities. Fountain Financial Group consists of nine financial professionals who reportedly oversaw approximately $832 million at First Horizon Advisors before switching affiliations.

“I was drawn to Pinnacle because of its reputation as a place where experienced professionals are given the independence they need to make full use of their talents,” team leader Eric Fountain said in the press release. “Everyone in this group has a heart to serve, and Pinnacle empowers us to deliver the high level of care our clients are used to. Nothing is more important than our clients, and the culture and decentralized organization here are exactly what we need to put them first.”

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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