Commonwealth Sets New Record Recruiting Results, Bringing Aboard Over $11 Billion in Client Assets; Stifel Leads in Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity
Stifel Independent Advisors and Commonwealth Financial Network both announced recruiting results this week, with Stifel onboarding 23 advisors with over $2.53 billion in assets and Commonwealth reporting 270 new advisors, totaling $11.24 billion in new assets, a record for the company.
Commonwealth Record Recruiting Emphasizes Quality Over Volume
Commonwealth’s 270 new advisors hold an average of $90 million in assets under advisement. The majority of assets recruited last year were fee-based, in line with the firm’s positioning as a fast-growing, independent RIA with additional insurance and broker-dealer capabilities.
The firms’ CEO, Wayne Bloom, said “Despite the difficult headwinds our advisors, their clients, and the industry faced last year, our team was extremely successful in bringing top-caliber financial advisors to our firm. Our ambitious goal of reaching $1 trillion in assets under management is rooted in a well-managed growth strategy built around our advisor-centric values.”
Commonwealth’s ownership structure supports advisors in both organic and acquisitional growth. The firm also enables advisors to evolve their business into a fee-only model.
Becca Hajjar, the firm’s Managing Principal and Chief Business Development Officer, said, “We saw increased recruiting success in 2022 with ensembles and larger enterprise firms. In addition to evolving as a leading independent RIA, our wirehouse recruiting efforts are also gaining momentum as entrepreneurial advisors want to be in business for themselves. We provide them with a ‘soft landing’ that includes our Virtual Transition Support and expanded Outsourced Business Solutions offering.”
Commonwealth’s $11.2 billion in new client assets places it in a very competitive group of large-scale recruiters, alongside Advisor Group’s $21 billion, Cetera’s $13 billion and Kestra’s $8.5 billion, which we covered recently.
For instance, contrasting Cetera’s more than 8,000 advisors and $437 billion in assets with Commonwealth’s 2,100 advisors and $243 billion in assets, Commonwealth’s recruiting gains stand out more clearly through its higher assets-to-advisor ratio, providing supporting evidence to the success of the firm’s strategy of recruiting quality over quantity.
A source within the financial advisor recruiter community, who declined to be identified, said, “Commonwealth has bucked a broader industry trend of large firms emphasizing scale over quality of recruits. Not only does this reflect Commonwealth’s strategic focus, it’s also a testament to their ownership structure.”
“Being a stable and privately-held firm with no apparent interest in changing that structure insulates Commonwealth from the constant ‘growth at all costs’ pressure that publicly traded and private equity owned firms tend to face. Firms that are always being pushed to drive scale are inevitably forced to bring aboard lower producing, lower quality financial advisors because those tend to be the easiest kinds of advisors to acquire in large volumes.”
Stifel’s Recruiting Emphasizes Diversity, Equity And Inclusion
Alex David, President and CEO of Stifel Independent Advisors, said, “It’s my pleasure to again welcome these accomplished professionals to our network of high-end advisors, who not only focus on delivering exceptional results to their clients but share our vision of building a multi-dimensional and diverse firm that uplifts everyone across all backgrounds. Inclusivity is our strength, and we will build on our advantage in 2023.”
Stifel’s 2022 recruits represent 11 practices and increased the firm’s total assets under management (AUM) to over $6 billion. The firm emphasizes diversity, equity and inclusion in its recruitment of underrepresented minority advisors.
Cedric Edwards, who joined Stifel in March, said, “Stifel is a company where African American advisors like me can thrive as I continue to offer best-in-class services to my clients. As we celebrate Black History Month in February, Mr. David’s leadership in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion is clearly making a difference at the firm.”
“Our team looks forward to reaching new milestones with a firm that represents values that we can align with, including in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said KWM Wealth Advisory’s Managing Director, Kenneth Sanchez.
“In 2022, more than 40% of all client assets under the Stifel Independent Advisors umbrella were in the hands of practices headed by women and underrepresented minority groups,” David stated. “Our exceptional track record of recruiting outstanding advisors from all backgrounds is being noticed across the industry.”
Janeesa Hollingshead, Executive Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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