Recruitment Roundup: Cetera, Ameriprise, Miracle Mile, FPA, Freestone And More

Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Cetera Recruits Advisor From Voya, Ameriprise Recruits Advisor From PNC, Pathstone To Acquire Veritable, Verdence Acquires Vantage, FPA Partners With CAIA Association, Miracle Mile Appoints First Head Of Wealth Management, SageView Recruits Retirement Plan Consultant And Jim Hughes Is Our Newest Recruiter Of The Month

This edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup features our newest Recruiter Of The Month. We speak with Jim Hughes, the new Head of Client Advisory and Business Development at Freestone Capital Management, about the firm’s plans for advisor recruitment.

This week’s deals also include Cetera recruiting $470 million advisor Gary Cook from Voya, Ameriprise recruiting $250 million advisor Amanda Hale from PNC, Pathstone acquiring the $17 billion multi-family office Veritable, Verdence surpassing $3 billion with the acquisition of Vantage, the FPA partnering with the CAIA Association on alts education, Miracle Mile appointing Nate Angelo as Head of Wealth Management and SageView recruiting Sarah Parker as a Retirement Plan Consultant.

Advisor Transactions

1. Cetera Recruits $470 Million Texas Advisor Gary Cook From Voya

Dallas-based advisor Gary Cook left Voya Retirement Advisory Distribution to join Cetera Advisor Networks through Cetera Wealth Partners. His financial planning and retirement planning services practice brings over $470 million in client assets.

Gary Cook, Founder, Cook Financial Services

Cook has 36 years of industry experience. He founded Cook Financial Services in 1985. Cetera Wealth Partners launched in 2021 through the acquisition of assets from Voya Financial Advisors. As of March 31, Cetera Financial Group supports more than 8,000 financial professionals, oversees approximately $330 billion in assets under administration (AUA) and $116 billion in assets under management (AUM).

“As I looked to expand my wealth management capabilities and take my business to the next level, it became quickly clear that Cetera Wealth Partners was a great fit for my clients and my business,” Cook said. “The collaborative community culture and industry-leading resources, tools and support make Cetera Wealth Partners an ideal destination to continue growing Cook Financial Services and providing enhanced service to my clients.”

2. Ameriprise Recruits $250 Million Texas Advisor Amanda Hale From PNC

Amanda Hale, Financial Advisor, Ameriprise

Port Arthur, Texas-based advisor Amanda Hale left PNC Investments to join Third Coast Advisors within the Ameriprise Financial Institutions Group (AFIG). She brings $250 million in client assets, along with her client service associate and practice manager Jessica Guidroz.

Hale has 22 years of industry experience. She previously worked for BBVA Securities, Wells Fargo, Capital One Investments and CUNA Brokerage Services (now part of LPL Financial). Third Coast Advisors partners with Third Coast Bank SSB. Ameriprise supports approximately 10,000 financial advisors nationwide and has over $414 billion in AUM, according to its June SEC ADV filing.

“Ameriprise quickly became my top choice once I saw how efficient it was to do business here,” Hale said. “Clients love Ameriprise’s technology because account setup and ongoing service are simple and intuitive.”

Mergers & Acquisitions

3. Pathstone To Acquire $17 Billion Multi-Family Office Veritable

Michael Stolper, Co-CEO and Founder, Veritable

Englewood, New Jersey-based Pathstone is acquiring suburban Philadelphia-based multi-family office Veritable, which manages over $17 billion in assets across approximately 200 client accounts. The deal brings Pathstone’s assets under advisement and administration to exceed $100 billion.

Michael Stolper founded Veritable in 1986 as one of the first multi-family offices in the country to serve ultra-high net worth clients, and its team now consists of 87 financial professionals. Pathstone was founded in 2010 and has offices in 18 cities. In May, Pathstone announced it would acquire Austin, Texas-based Brainard Capital Management, which oversees approximately $2 billion in client assets.

“We are culturally and philosophically aligned with Pathstone, and this combination will allow us to further deliver on our mission and execute on the generational promise we’ve made to our clients,” Stolper said. “While we are proud of what we have built as Veritable, we look forward to this next chapter being one of continued growth, collaboration and delivering a truly differentiated solution in the independent RIA space.”

4. Verdence Capital Advisors Acquires Vantage Private Wealth, Surpassing $3.4 Billion

Matthew Pietzak, Founder, Vantage Private Wealth

Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Verdence Capital Advisors acquired Naples, Florida-based Vantage Private Wealth, which has over $90 million in AUM according to its May SEC ADV filing. The deal brings Verdence, a private wealth advisory and multi-family office, to over $3.4 billion in AUM.

Matthew Pietzak founded Vantage in 2017. He has nearly 25 years of industry experience, having previously worked at UBS, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and PNC. In June, Verdence recruited Merrill Lynch advisor Mark Amberg to its Alexandria, Virginia office. The Verdence team consists of more than 40 financial professionals.

“Wealthy individuals and families benefit most when they have access to a full range of unbiased service offerings, experienced insights, customized financial planning approaches and more,” Pietzak said. “And not only do the Verdence founders and I share the same drive to exceed all of our clients’ expectations, they have also built a robust selection of solutions that would have taken me years to craft on my own.”

Strategic Partnerships

5. FPA Partners With CAIA Association To Help Advisors Better Understand Alts

Patrick D. Mahoney, CEO, Financial Planning Association

The Financial Planning Association (FPA), the membership organization and trade group for Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals, partnered with the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association to help advisors better understand how alts function and the role they could serve in client portfolios. FPA members are eligible to receive discounted access to the UniFi by CAIA online educational series through a listing on the FPA Marketplace.

According to the FPA’s annual Trends in Investing Survey, 28% of investment professionals actively invest in or search for alternative investments suitable for their clients, 30% are familiar with alternative investments but do not intend to invest in them or recommend them to their clients, 50% are investing in or recommending that clients invest in funds that provide access to alternative investment classes or strategies, while 20% are making direct investments in a product, project or company.

“CAIA is a premier name in alternative investment education,” said Patrick D. Mahoney, CEO of the FPA. “Access to this platform will help FPA members educate themselves, enabling them to assist their clients in understanding this increasingly trending asset class.”

Promotions & People Moves

6. Miracle Mile Advisors Appoints Nate Angelo Head Of Wealth Management

Nate Angelo, Head of Wealth Management, Miracle Mile Advisors

Los Angeles-based Miracle Mile Advisors appointed Nate Angelo to the newly created role of Head of Wealth Management. He will focus on developing, refining and executing the firm’s market and sales strategies, onboarding processes, financial planning framework and holistic service model.

Angelo has more than 20 years of financial services experience. He previously served as Pacific Northwest Complex Director at RBC Wealth Management. Angelo began his career at Russell Investments, where he spent 12 years and rose to the level of Director, National Accounts. In June, Miracle Mile appointed Bruce Milam as its first CEO. The firm has over $4.7 billion in client assets and growth investment from private equity firm Corsair Capital.

“I am grateful to come into this role with such a strong foundation for success, thanks to the caliber of our financial professionals, the quality of the existing leadership team and the support of Corsair Capital,” Angelo said. “In the months and years ahead, I look forward to building upon the strong foundation already in place here by making Miracle Mile the preferred destination for entrepreneurial, growth-oriented and transformation-focused financial professionals across the country.”

7. SageView Recruits Sarah Parker As Retirement Plan Consultant

Sarah Parker, Retirement Plan Consultant, SageView Advisory Group

Newport Beach, California-based SageView Advisory Group recruited Sarah Parker as a Retirement Plan Consultant to provide investment oversight and guidance for both not-for-profit and for-profit clients. In addition to its wealth management services, SageView advises on more than 1,900 defined contribution, defined benefit and deferred compensation retirement plans.

Parker has over 15 years of industry experience, and previously led the oversight of a $10 billion defined contribution practice. Her expertise spans ESG, target date funds, vendor selection and oversight, fee benchmarking, managed accounts and financial wellness. She began her career as an Institutional Investment Analyst at Charles Schwab.

“We are thrilled to have Sarah join the SageView team given her depth of experience as a fiduciary with public, private and defined benefit retirement plans,” said Jon Upham, SageView’s President and Head of Institutional Retirement. “We know she will help our clients navigate the industry’s complexities, so their plan participants have peace of mind.”

Recruiter Of The Month

8. Jim Hughes, Head of Client Advisory and Business Development, Freestone Capital Management

Jim Hughes, Head of Client Advisory and Business Development, Freestone Capital Management

Seattle-based Freestone Capital Management appointed Jim Hughes as Head of Client Advisory and Business Development, responsible for overseeing those teams, maximizing revenue and advisor recruitment. Freestone is an employee-owned, fee-only firm that has grown from $250 million in client assets since inception in 1999 to over $8 billion in AUM and 27 advisors today.

Hughes has over 25 years of executive experience in the industry. Most recently, he was a founding member, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Transcend Wealth Collective. We spoke with Hughes to learn how Freestone plans to achieve its advisor recruitment goals.

WSR: What is your prior professional experience with recruiting advisors to wealth management firms and/or helping them succeed once onboarded?

Hughes: Recruiting, transitioning and mentoring advisors has been a significant part of my career for 20-plus years. I had the privilege of leading advisors in some of Merrill Lynch’s largest markets and was a founding partner for one of the country’s fastest growing RIAs. I spend considerable time with potential hires during the recruiting process getting to know them and ensuring we’re aligned in terms of goals, fit and expectations. Once aboard, I like to tailor their training and development based on their experience and areas of development.

WSR: What types of financial advisors or advisory teams is Freestone seeking to recruit over the next year? What makes for an ideal recruit?

Hughes: We are fiduciaries who love to take care of our clients. Our existing advisors are entrepreneurial, creative and have a passion for learning and skill expansion. The advisors who thrive here embrace the unique ways Freestone can accelerate their growth and the success of their clients. Ideal recruits are early-, mid-, and late-career advisors and advisory teams who are eager to be part of a bigger team collaborating to create something great.

WSR: What is Freestone’s value proposition and differentiator that will help it stand out and attract top advisors to the firm?

Hughes: As we approach our 25th anniversary as an independent, partner-owned RIA, I believe there are few firms with Freestone’s visionary history and track record of success. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Barbara and Seattle, our advisors are growing with the support and resources provided by our internal investment and wealth planning teams, as well as client introductions from our partners.

Differentiation through public market investments and basic financial planning is extremely difficult. We differentiate through alternative investment acumen, multifaceted wealth protection and transition strategies, as well as sophisticated and complex financial issues like liquidity event planning.

Chris Latham, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

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