Recruitment Roundup: WEG, Dynasty, Sanctuary, Cerity And Merrill Lynch

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

WEG Acquires $355 Million Heacock & Jones In Iowa, Cerity Partners Acquires $300 Million Jurika, Mills & Keifer In The San Francisco Bay Area And Merrill Lynch Loses Three Teams Representing $2.8 Billion As Sanctuary And Dynasty Gain

This edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup covers Wealth Enhancement Group acquiring Dubuque, Iowa-based Heacock & Jones Financial Services; New York-based Cerity Partners acquiring San Francisco Bay Area-based Jurika, Mills & Keifer; and Merrill Lynch losing three teams. These included Florham Park, New Jersey-based Premier Path Wealth Partners launching as an RIA on the Dynasty Financial Partners platform, Chicago-area Burnham Harbor Private Wealth joining Sanctuary Wealth and Louisville, Kentucky-based Barlow Wealth Partners launching as an RIA.

1. Wealth Enhancement Group Acquires $355 Million Heacock & Jones

Paul Heacock, President, Heacock & Jones Financial Services

Wealth Enhancement Group (WEG) acquired Dubuque, Iowa-based Heacock & Jones Financial Services, which has over $355 million in assets. The RIA was founded in 2000 and provides financial planning, investment management, tax planning, insurance, retirement planning and estate planning.

In addition to President Paul Heacock, the team consists of five support staffers. The Heacock & Jones deal brings WEG’s total client assets to over $66.8 billion and marks its third location in Iowa. So far this year, WEG has announced six acquisitions representing approximately $3.3 billion in assets.

“After 23 years as a private, independent firm, we are excited about partnering with Wealth Enhancement Group,” Heacock said in the press release. “We continue to believe an open and transparent, client-centered relationship is the key to long-term success, which is aligned with Wealth Enhancement Group’s philosophy.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

2. $875 Million Merrill Lynch Breakaway Premier Path Launches With Dynasty

An eight-person team managing $875 million in Florham Park, New Jersey, broke away from Merrill Lynch to launch the independent RIA Premier Path Wealth Partners on the Dynasty Financial Partners platform. The team consists of six preexisting members and two new hires: Brian Glenn, Director of Investments, and Bill Ehrhardt, Head of Business Advisory Services.

Michael Lehman, CEO and Founding Partner, Premier Path Wealth Partners

Premier Path serves high net worth business owners, executives and multigenerational families. Its specialties include pre-business-sale planning, navigating corporate compensation plans, business advisory services for growing enterprise value, legacy and succession planning, retirement / cashflow planning, tax-efficient investment management, risk management and philanthropic giving. In addition to Dynasty, Premier Path is using Fidelity, eMoney and Black Diamond as third party vendors.

“We’ve completed years of due diligence, looking at wirehouses, quasi-independence, and full independence,” Premier Path CEO and Founding Partner Michael Lehman said in the press release. “We decided that full independence with support from Dynasty Financial Partners is the best way to serve our clients, today and in the future.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

3. $1 Billion Burnham Harbor Private Wealth Joins Sanctuary From Merrill Lynch

Burnham Harbor Private Wealth, a six-person Chicago-area team overseeing $1 billion, joined Sanctuary Wealth from Merrill Lynch. Its members are Managing Partners James Corrigan, David Holtkamp, Sean Jucas and Kenneth Shay, along with Wealth Associates Basel Alwawi and Cindy Hehr.

James Corrigan, Managing Partner, Burnham Harbor Private Wealth

Corrigan was an advisor with Merrill Lynch for over 17 years. Holtkamp joined Merrill Lynch in 2006 and has been an advisor for 17 years. Jucas was a Merrill Lynch advisor for the past 16 years. Shay has been in financial services since 1966 and an advisor since 1985, first at Morgan Stanley then at Merrill Lynch. The Sanctuary Wealth network includes partner firms in 28 states nationwide with approximately $25 billion in assets under advisement.

“While we knew we had outgrown the wirehouse, our team didn’t want to go out on our own,” Corrigan said in the press release. “In Sanctuary, we found a partner that provides the right balance of support, freedom, flexibility and optionality we were looking for in a new home.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

4. $1 Billion Merrill Lynch Team Breaks Away To Launch Barlow Wealth Partners

Barry Barlow, Managing Partner, Barlow Wealth Partners

A Louisville, Kentucky-based team broke away from Merrill Lynch to launch Barlow Wealth Partners. The new RIA manages approximately $1 billion in assets, according to an AdvisorHub article. It provides financial planning, portfolio management and family office services, according to its website. Fidelity will serve as its custodian, according to the firm’s SEC ADV.

The five-person team consists of Managing Partner Barry Barlow, who has 42 years of financial services experience; M. Christine Book, who has 32 years of experience; Amy Sibley Jones, who has 17 years of experience; Frank Barlow, who has 16 years of experience; and Chris McIntosh, who has 16 years of experience.

“I can’t say enough good things about Merrill Lynch and the high caliber folks we worked with over the years,” AdvisorHub quoted Barry Barlow as writing in an email. “It is great organization just no longer a good fit for our team given the nature of our practice.”

To learn more, read the AdvisorHub article here.

5. Cerity Partners Acquires $300 Million Jurika, Mills & Keifer

Karl Mills, President and CEO, Jurika, Mills & Keifer

New York-based Cerity Partners acquired San Francisco Bay Area-based Jurika, Mills & Keifer, which manages approximately $300 million. The team includes President and CIO Karl Mills, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Mikel Keifer, Administrative Associate Bonnie Burset and Associate Will Richardson. DeVoe & Company advised Jurika, Mills & Keifer on the investment banking transaction.

So far this year, Cerity Partners has announced M&A deals with four other firms – Gamble Jones Investment Counsel, Ashfield Capital Partners, ARGI and Maryland Capital Management – representing over $1 billion in client assets per transaction. It also recruited eight advisors from the now-collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. Cerity Partners, which has backing from the private equity firms Genstar Capital and Lightyear Capital, oversees more than $53.3 billion in assets under management.

“We were seeking a firm that could help us expand our wealth management capabilities with respect to tax, trust and estate planning, executive compensation, insurance and philanthropy,” Jurika, Mills & Keifer President and CIO Karl Mills said in the press release. “We found that and much more, along with a true culture of partnership with Cerity Partners.”

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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