Recruitment Roundup: Hightower, Atria, Edelman, NewEdge, Mariner, RBC and William Blair

Hightower Expands In New England, Atria Onboards $1.1 Billion Team, Edelman Names New CEO, Mariner Launches Mariner Financial Wellness, NewEdge Recruit To Launch Nashville Office, First Republic Suffers Further Losses

James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst, Wealth Solutions Report

In this installment of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup, the cascading effects of the banking crisis continue as First Republic loses a founding member to RBC Wealth Management and a $2 billion team to William Blair, while Atria’s Cadaret Grant subsidiary picks up a $1.1 billion Signature Bank team.

This week’s activities also highlight high net worth services as NewEdge recruits a $500 million advisor to start a Nashville office and Hightower places a strategic investment with a high net worth advisor team based in Maine and New Hampshire.

In addition, Mariner acquired Spring to launch Mariner Financial Wellness and Edelman Financial Engines hired Jay Shah as CEO while current CEO Larry Raffone transitions to Chairman of the Board.

Advisor Transactions

1. Atria Recruits $1.1 Billion Team From Signature Bank

Atria Wealth Solutions recruited Jason Kurz, Laura Palacios and Edwin Milner, who collectively manage almost $1.1 billion in assets, to its subsidiary Cadaret Grant. The team from Flagstar Bank, formerly Signature Bank, will be an independent team associated with American Investment Planners, Cadaret Grant’s largest branch, based in Jericho, New York.

William Morrissey, Head of Independent Channel, Atria, and President, Cadaret Grant

The team provides comprehensive financial planning, private wealth management and retirement services to businesses, foundations and high net worth clients.

“We congratulate Ed, Laura and Jason on their successful transition to independence, as well as AIP, which has consistently been one of our most successful Cadaret Grant branches,” said William Morrissey, Head of Atria’s Independent Channel and President of Cadaret Grant. “From the beginning, our focus was on making sure they felt supported and understood. This is about creating a long-term relationship that empowers them to be their best and deliver an elite wealth management experience for their clients.”

Atria recently recruited the Harvard University Employees Credit Union and Mobiloil Credit Union to its CUSO Financial Services subsidiary and announced the purchase of Grove Point Financial from Kestra.

2. NewEdge Onboards $500 Million Advisor From UBS To Start Nashville Office

NewEdge Wealth announced that Richard Ina, formerly of UBS, will join the firm and establish an office in the Nashville area. Ina brings with him two former associates, Alison Ina and Paige Muirhead. Ina has over three decades of financial services experience and focuses on a clientele of high net worth individuals, business owners, executives and entrepreneurs, which fits with NewEdge’s focus on ultra-high net worth families, family offices and institutions.

Rob Sechan, CEO & CO-Founder, NewEdge Wealth

Rob Sechan, CEO and Co-Founder of NewEdge, said, “Richard and his team bring a well-established and hard-earned reputation of servicing their clients’ unique needs, and we are thrilled to have them within the NewEdge Wealth network. He wanted a partner to provide more freedom in choosing solutions and services for his client’s wealth management needs, and NewEdge provides that flexibility.”

NewEdge Wealth is a division of NewEdge Capital Group, which supports over 300 financial advisors. In April, the firm hired ultra-high net worth advisor Josh Gully from Morgan Stanley as Managing Director. In March, NewEdge Capital Group reported $9.1 billion in expected new client assets under management (AUM) for 2022 and the addition of 16 ultra-high net worth advisors to NewEdge Wealth during that period.

3. First Republic Loses Founder To RBC, Team To William Blair

First Republic continues to suffer losses after its purchase by JP Morgan. Carmen Castro-Franceschi, one of the firm’s nine founding members, will move to RBC Wealth Management’s San Francisco office as a Managing Director, according to Citywire RIA. Also in San Francisco, Laura Ward is joining William Blair as a Managing Director, leading a four-person team with over $2 billion in assets, according to

“The warm culture, along with the global resources of RBC, were significant attractions for me. I’m extremely impressed with the sophisticated lending and credit capabilities, as well as the universal commitment to delivering an exceptional client experience,” said Castro-Franceschi, according to Citywire RIA.

Mergers & Acquisitions

4. Mariner Acquisition Undergirds Launch Of New Financial Wellness Offering

Marty Bicknell, CEO & President, Mariner Wealth Advisors

Mariner Wealth Advisors acquired Spring in January, which provides businesses with financial wellness benefits for their employees. Through the acquisition, the firm launched Mariner Financial Wellness, which provides an online portal for employees with customized educational content, budgeting and goal setting and tracking, as well as a financial health and progress summary. The offering is complemented by holistic financial wellness coaching.

Businesses will have access to data-driven insights that aggregate employees’ financial concerns, with results such as declining debt and increasing savings. Individual employee data will remain confidential.

Spring was founded in 2015 by Joe Holberg, who will remain at Mariner as Managing Director, overseeing Mariner Financial Wellness.

Marty Bicknell, CEO and President of Mariner Wealth Advisors, said, “Across the board, it remains our top priority to positively impact as many individuals and communities as possible, and this addition helps us continue to fulfill that promise. The integration of Spring will greatly complement our current retirement service offerings and will allow us to sustain that impact by making financial advice more accessible to employees across the country.”

Strategic Partnerships

5. Hightower Expands In New England With Strategic Investment In $2.3 Billion Firm

Bob Oros, Chairman & CEO, Hightower Advisors

Hightower Advisors announced a strategic investment in Vigilant Wealth Management, based in Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with approximately $2.3 billion in assets across 500 households. Founded in 2002, Vigilant’s 31 employees, including 11 advisors, are led by three co-founding principals: Jeffrey F. Carlisle, Daniel M. Mulkern, and Scott D. Sorensen.

Vigilant will gain access to Hightower resources including business development consulting, marketing, a nationwide advisor community and middle- and back-office support. The firm provides investment and wealth planning solutions to entrepreneurs, business owners, executives and high net worth clients.

Chicago-based Hightower had assets under administration of approximately $148.2 billion and AUM of $119.9 billion as of March 31.

“Vigilant Wealth Management encompasses everything Hightower looks for in a partner: a holistic wealth management offering, stellar organic growth approach, and impressive leadership team committed to the long-term well-being of its clients and people,” said Bob Oros, Chairman and CEO of Hightower. “We look forward to helping them scale their operations and further develop the next generation of leaders.”

Promotions & People Moves

6. Edelman Financial Engines Names Shah CEO, Raffone To Board Chair

Jay Shah, incoming CEO, Edelman Financial Engines

Edelman Financial Engines named Jay Shah as CEO effective Aug. 18, while current CEO Larry Raffone will transition to Chairman of the Board. Shah spent 13 years at retail wealth management firm Personal Capital and rose to CEO in 2017.

Raffone, who served at Financial Engines for over two decades, including President since 2012 and CEO and Board Member since 2015, continues as a “meaningful shareholder,” according to the press release. He led Financial Engines through its 2018 merger with Edelman Financial Services.

“This is very exciting news for the firm, its planners and staff, and clients,” said Ric Edelman, the founder of Edelman Financial Services and a Board Member of Edelman Financial Engines. “Jay not only understands the opportunity that exists to provide more workplace employees with access to broader financial planning services, he has a proven track record of providing financial planners with innovative technology so they can deliver high-touch services to their clients, enabling them to transform their financial lives.”

The firm has approximately 1,500 employees, including over 650 planners, client service associates and analysts, and has more than $246 billion in AUM, with approximately 1.3 million clients.

James Miller, Contributing Editor and Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at


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