Recruitment Roundup: Atria, Goldman, Cetera, Adviser Investments And More

Atria’s CUSO Partners With Mobiloil, Prime Capital Custodies With Goldman Sachs, Cetera Appoints Mike Durbin CEO, Adviser Investments And Ropes Wealth Merge, Choreo Launches CPA Alliance, Commonwealth Recruits Trusted Wealth, Sanctuary Recruits Crescent Harbor And LaSalle St. Recruits Link Financial

Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Driven by reader feedback, we’re combining our monthly Transitions, Transactions & Promotions with the Weekly Recruitment Roundup. Going forward, the name of our Weekly Recruitment Roundup newsletter will stay the same, and it will now include separate sections for people moves, strategic alliances, M&A and advisor recruitment.

This week’s deals cover Atria’s CUSO Financial partnering with Mobiloil Credit Union, Prime Capital Investment Advisors custodying assets with Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions, Cetera Holdings appointing former Fidelity Institutional Head Mike Durbin as CEO, Adviser Investments and Ropes Wealth merging, Commonwealth recruiting Trusted Wealth Partners, Sanctuary Wealth recruiting Crescent Harbor Private Wealth, LaSalle St. recruiting Link Financial Advisory and Choreo launching a CPA-financial advisor alliance program.

Advisor Transactions

1. Commonwealth Recruits $465 Million Trusted Wealth Partners

Omaha, Nebraska-based Trusted Wealth Partners joined Commonwealth Financial Network from Securities America. The 12-person team oversees nearly $465 million in assets. Its five advisor partners are Clint Eikmeier, Jim Lammers, Mark Slattery, Matt Peters and Nathan Brobst. Trusted Wealth Partners provides investment management, financial planning, retirement and estate planning and insurance services.

Commonwealth also recently recruited Pennsylvania-based KMJ Financial Group, which oversees approximately $121 million. The independent-broker-dealer network has more than 2,100 independent advisors who oversaw more than $242.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31. Last year, Commonwealth brought in $11.2 billion in new client assets from 270 new advisors.

“We pride ourselves on building deep relationships with our clients. We understand them on a personal level and customize services to ensure that we are setting each of them up for ongoing success,” Slattery said. “The efficiencies Commonwealth creates will make it easier to do business, allowing us to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time working with clients, many of whom have complex investment management and financial planning needs.”

2. LaSalle St. Onboards $150 Million Link Financial Advisory

Las Vegas-based Link Financial Advisory, with $150 million in client assets, joined Chicago-based LaSalle St.’s network of firms, also from Securities America. Link Financial’s Founder and CEO, Richard London, will participate in LaSalle’s recently announced equity ownership program, and Link Financial’s five advisors and one support team member will join the firm.

Richard London, Founder & CEO, Link Financial Advisory

Link Financial, which also operates in California and Montana, provides asset management, wealth management, retirement planning and financial planning, and specializes in tailored services for business owners, pre-retirees and retirees. With over 17 years of experience, London founded Link Financial in 2014 after working as a wealth advisor at Mutual Omaha Bank and Contango Capital Advisors, the RIA for Zions Bancorp.

“After a tremendous amount of due diligence, we kept coming to the conclusion that LaSalle St. is the right place for our firm and clients,” London said. “They foster a culture of true independence and demonstrate the ability to support our current business as well as our future growth. We are extremely excited about the opportunities in front of us and the partnership we have fostered with LaSalle St.’s leadership team.”

3. Sanctuary Recruits $200 Million Crescent Harbor From Merrill Lynch

Crescent Harbor Private Wealth, a Jersey City, New Jersey-based practice, has become the 32nd Merrill Lynch breakaway team to become independent by joining Sanctuary Wealth. The team consists of CEO and Founder John Araneo and Managing Partner Jason Greenfield, who oversee $200 million in client assets. Araneo has 25 years of wealth management experience, and Greenfield entered the field in 2019.

John Araneo, CEO and Founder, Crescent Harbor Private Wealth

Crescent Harbor’s next-generation practice serves a select group of high net worth individuals, families, corporate executives and business owners. Its clients often face life transitions such as selling a business, retirement, managing an inheritance or divorce. The team also manages and diversifies concentrated stock risk for corporate executives. Sanctuary Wealth’s independent partnership model provides a technology and operations platform to a network of firms in 28 states nationwide, and has approximately $25 billion in total assets under advisement (AUA).

“Going independent allows us to get back to why we became wealth managers in the first place – to put our clients’ needs first,” Araneo said. “During our due diligence process, it became clear that Sanctuary was the best place for us. They have a truly open architecture approach, with great support and a multi-custodial option that we really appreciated. They know what we are trying to do and are committed to our success.”

Mergers & Acquisitions

4. Adviser Investments And Ropes Wealth Merge, Forming $15 Billion Firm

Newton, Massachusetts-based Adviser Investments, founded in 1994, and Boston-based Ropes Wealth Advisors, founded in 2013, are merging to establish a bespoke advisory firm that will manage nearly $15 billion in client assets. The two RIAs employ more than 185 professionals including wealth advisors, portfolio managers, fiduciary and financial planning specialists, and client service professionals.

The combined firm will be owned by the management teams of Adviser Investments and Ropes Wealth Advisors, along with Summit Partners, a global growth equity investment firm. Summit Partners previously invested in Adviser Investments in 2020 to support its national expansion. The partnership will operate under a planning-first, fiduciary-only model where clients receive personalized guidance. Their teams cater to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Ropes Wealth,” said Mario Ramos, CEO of Adviser Investments. “With this combination, we will deepen our leadership position serving wealth management clients with complex planning needs. Equally important, this transaction reinforces our role as one of the leading merger partners of choice for RIA firms and other independent wealth management firms across the country.”

Strategic Partnerships

5. Atria’s CUSO Financial Partners With $1 Billion Mobiloil Credit Union

CUSO Financial Services (CFS), a broker-dealer subsidiary of Atria Wealth Solutions focused on the credit union wealth management space, announced a multi-year partnership with Beaumont, Texas-based Mobiloil Credit Union, with 12 branches across southeastern Texas serving almost 75,000 members and holding over $1 billion in client assets.

Tami Cain, Executive Director of Business Development, CUSO Financial Services

Founded in 1935 as Magnolia Employees Beaumont Texas Federal Credit Union, Mobiloil members will gain access to the Clear1 portal and mobile app that connects a member’s credit union and wealth management services. Atria’s subsidiaries include CFS and its sibling in the financial institutions space, Sorrento Pacific Financial, as well as Cadaret Grant, NEXT Financial Group, Western International Securities and SCF Securities, and will soon include Grove Point Financial, which the firm recently recruited from Kestra.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Mobiloil to the CFS community and to help drive growth and success for their wealth management program,” said Tami Cain, Executive Director of Business Development at CFS. “Their decision to align with CFS underscores our unique expertise in the credit union vertical and equips them with our comprehensive solutions for its members.”

6. Prime Capital To Custody $1 Billion With Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions

Overland Park, Kansas-based Prime Capital Investment Advisors (PCIA), which has over $20 billion in AUA, is adding Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions (GSAS) as a custody partner and aims to place $1 billion in assets under management (AUM) on its platform for PCIA’s largest and most complex clients.

PCIA’s three primary business areas are Prime Capital Wealth Management, Qualified Plan Advisors and Financial Fitness for Life. During the past 18 months, PCIA has experienced double-digit annualized organic growth and added 43 advisors. As of December, GSAS custodied over $1 trillion of private wealth.

“Prime Capital Investment Advisors is committed to helping its clients, associates, advisors and partners achieve their life ambitions,” said Glenn Spencer, its CEO. “GSAS offers the services, technology, and support to serve an important and growing segment of our client base with even more care and attention.”

7. Choreo Launches Alliance Program For CPAs And Advisors

Larry Miles, CEO, Choreo

Chicago-based Choreo launched its Choreo Partner Alliance program, which enables CPAs to partner with Choreo advisors. Participating CPAs can access tax-efficient estate planning, business exit-planning and investment solutions as well as Choreo’s marketing, thought leadership and technology platforms.

The alliance also aims to help CPAs and advisors generate tax alpha while maintaining tax-aware beta exposure for clients, produce multigenerational strategies for families and monitor third-party activities for clients with multiple investment advisors. Cherry Bekaert Advisory LLC and Greer Walker LLP, two tax and accounting firms that recently forged strategic partnerships with Choreo, will be among the initial participants in the alliance program.

Promotions & People Moves

8. Former Fidelity Institutional Head Mike Durbin Appointed Cetera Holdings CEO

Cetera Holdings, the holding company of Cetera Financial Group, appointed Mike Durbin, the former Head of Fidelity Institutional, as its new CEO and as a member of Cetera’s Board of Directors. Cetera Financial Group CEO Adam Antoniades will remain in his role. Durbin has approximately 33 years of financial services experience.

Mike Durbin, CEO, Cetera Holdings

He served at Fidelity for over 14 years in various roles including President of Institutional Wealth Services, President of Fidelity Wealth Technologies, and Head of Fidelity Institutional Investment and Technology Solutions. Before that, Durbin spent nearly 19 years at Morgan Stanley, where he began as an investment banker and rose to Chief Operating Officer, National Sales, Global Wealth Management. As of March 31, Cetera had more than 8,000 financial professionals and oversaw approximately $330 billion in assets under administration and $116 billion in AUM.

“Cetera is well positioned for exponential growth by continuing to deliver new and innovative capabilities to advisors through its Wealth Hub, and truly meet the changing needs of today’s top advisors,” Durbin said. “I look forward to working alongside such an extraordinary team in the service of financial professionals and institutions.”

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

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