Stratos Launches Private Wealth Division, Jeff Brown Named President

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Stratos Acquires Majority Stake In BWM Financial, Rebrands It To Launch Stratos Private Wealth, And Appoints BWM Founder And CEO Jeff Brown As Its President

Stratos Wealth Enterprises, which collectively oversees $22.8 billion in brokerage and advisory assets, announced the launch of Stratos Private Wealth as part of its ongoing expansion of services for ultra-high net worth clients. The subsidiary of Stratos Wealth Holdings made the announcement during Stratos’ three-day national conference held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The launch involves Stratos increasing its investment in BWM Financial, to acquire a majority stake in the San Diego-based firm. As a result, BWM Financial will rebrand as Stratos Private Wealth. Jeff Brown, the CEO and Founder of BWM Financial, will assume the role of President at Stratos Private Wealth and will report directly to Lou Camacho, the President of Stratos Enterprises.

Jeff Brown, President, Stratos Private Wealth

“We have had a long-standing and successful partnership with Stratos that allowed my firm to grow,” Brown said in a press release. “I love working with Stratos’ executive team and our firms are well-aligned in culture, so it made sense to create a new entity that provides an aligned client experience that provides comprehensive wealth management services that address legal and tax issues as well as financial planning needs.”

Stratos Private Wealth, a division of Stratos Wealth Partners, will be responsible for marketing wealth management services. The business unit will actively seek opportunities for growth within the Stratos network and beyond. Stratos Wealth Partners, an RIA, offers investment advisory services.

Lou Camacho, President, Stratos Enterprises

“Jeff and the team at BWM Financial have been integral in the growth and execution of our private wealth strategy,” Camacho said. “We are thrilled to take our relationship to the next level as we build an interdependent national firm that offers regarded practices, investment strategy and client services under one brand.”

Stratos initially invested in BWM Financial in 2020, following five years of collaboration with Brown and his team. In 2021, BWM Financial further expanded its presence by acquiring Truuwater Financial, another wealth management firm affiliated with Stratos. Last year, Stratos increased its stake to 33% of BWM Financial.

In December, Stratos Wealth Holdings was a WSR Wealth Exemplar Awards winner for Private Equity-Backed Firm of the Year, due in part to Emigrant Partners acquiring a minority stake in Stratos in 2020.

Stratos Wealth Holdings is a family of companies that supports financial advisors across various business models and affiliations. Its entities include Stratos Wealth Partners, Stratos Wealth Advisors, Stratos Wealth Enterprises, Stratos Private Wealth and Fundamentum. As of March 31, the Stratos network consisted of 341 advisors and planners across 28 states.

Charles Shapiro, Founding Partner and Chief Development Officer, Stratos

As of the same date, Stratos Wealth Partners managed over $10.2 billion and advised on over $7.8 billion in brokerage and third-party managed assets. Fundamentum, an investment advisor, oversaw more than $1.2 billion in advisory assets. Stratos Wealth Advisors, an RIA, managed over $3 billion in advisory assets and over $32 billion in third-party managed assets. And Stratos Wealth Management, an RIA, managed over $334 million in advisory assets and advised through LPL Financial over $319 million in brokerage and third-party managed assets.

“In partnership with Stratos, Jeff has achieved strong growth since joining us in 2015,” said Charles Shapiro, Founding Partner and Chief Development Officer at Stratos. “I am so proud of Jeff’s evolution from advisor to CEO of a leading practice in Southern California, and we welcome him to our management team at Stratos. I have complete confidence he will continue to help us develop innovative services for our advisor partners to enhance their own client offerings.”

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at clatham@wealthsolutionsreport.com

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