Recruitment Roundup: Steward Partners, Morgan Stanley, RMB Capital And More

Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Goldman Sachs Helps Breakaways Exit Morgan Stanley. Osaic, LPL And OneSeven Recruit Advisors. Curi Merges With RMB. Waverly Acquires Prosper Financial. Jed Finn Reportedly Appointed Head Of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. And Jim Gold Of Steward Partners 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 Gold, CEO and Co-Founder of Steward Partners Global Advisory, about the company’s recent acquisitions.

This week’s deals also include Stablepoint Partners breaking away from Morgan Stanley with Goldman Sachs as custodian, Osaic adding nearly $500 million in assets through recruitments to The AmeriFlex Group, OneSeven bringing on Hyperion Wealth Group, LPL recruiting two advisors through Seapoint Wealth Advisors, Curi Capital merging with RMB Capital to form an $11 billion entity, Waverly Advisors acquiring Prosper Financial Advisers, and Morgan Stanley appointing Jed Finn the head of its wealth management division, according to news reports.

Advisor Transactions

1. $650 Million Morgan Stanley Team Departs, Chooses Goldman Custody

Christopher Griffith (left) and Henry Wheelwright (right), Managing Partners & Co-Founders, Stablepoint Partners

Braintree, Massachusetts-based Stablepoint Partners announced its launch and the selection of Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions (GSAS) as its custodian. With $650 million in assets under management (AUM), the team is led by Managing Partners and Co-Founders Christopher Griffith and Henry Wheelwright.

It includes VP and Wealth Advisor Claire Smith and Senior Client Service Associates AnneMarie Daly and Allyson Cellucci. Prior to independence, the team was with Morgan Stanley. Griffith has 23 years of experience and Wheelwright 22 years, serving executives, entrepreneurs and multigenerational families. Smith has eight years of experience.

“Everything we do is centered on clients – serving as advisors and coaches across financial life,” said Wheelwright. “To do so, we conducted careful due diligence across all aspects of our business to align a world-class offering and ecosystem for clients, including the selection of Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions to provide our clients with best-in-class services, resources and an ever-evolving open architecture network.”

2. Osaic, Through The AmeriFlex Group, Adds Nearly $500 Million In Assets

Thomas Goodson, President and CEO, The AmeriFlex Group

Osaic added nearly $500 million in assets through recruitments to The AmeriFlex Group, an advisor owned and operated hybrid RIA whose securities are offered through Osaic. The Meckenstock Group brings 10 financial advisors and over $290 million in client assets from Independent Financial Group. The advisor team of Jeffrey McNaney and Lucas Dancy-Cabeal brings $206 million from Principal Securities.

The Meckenstock Group includes President and CEO Bobb Meckenstock, Dan H. Meckenstock, Keith Harper, Kenny Rigler, Cameron Kaufman, Reggie Johnson, Kakim Kunantaev, Brian Kozak, John Reeve and Rodney Smith. In addition to its Hays, Kansas, headquarters, the team has offices in Nebraska and California. McNaney and Dancy-Cabeal, who have offices in Tennessee and California, have more than 30 years of combined experience.

“We are thrilled to welcome, Bobb, Jeffrey and Lucas, and their teams to the AmeriFlex family,” said President and CEO Thomas Goodson. “They built impressive multi-state businesses by putting the needs of their clients first. Each is a perfect cultural fit and runs the type of business we aspire to attract to The AmeriFlex Group. We look forward to working together to help them achieve their growth goals.”

3. OneSeven Brings On $250 Million Hyperion Wealth Group In Ohio

Todd Resnick, President, OneSeven

Beachwood, Ohio-based OneSeven brought on Toledo, Ohio-based Hyperion Wealth Group, which previously was known as Garrison Financial. Hyperion, which oversees $250 million and was founded in 2011 by Neil Garrison, provides financial planning, retirement planning, education planning, investment solutions and portfolio management.

Hyperion will continue its custodial relationship with Raymond James. OneSeven recently surpassed $4 billion in AUM and supports 27 advisory teams nationwide, according to a press release. The RIA focuses on what it calls the Seven Pillars of Wellness: family, career, community, physical, mental, spiritual and financial.

“We are thrilled to form this relationship with Neil and his talented team at Hyperion Wealth Group, one built on shared values and a vision for elevating the advisory profession to benefit the clients we serve,” said OneSeven President Todd Resnick. “Together, OneSeven and the practices we support nationwide are replacing tired industry norms with new energy and enhanced standards.”

4. LPL Onboards $100 Million Advisor Duo In San Diego

Matt Warter and Theresa Houle, Wealth Advisors, Seapoint Wealth Advisors

LPL Financial recruited Matt Warter and Theresa Houle as wealth advisors through Seapoint Wealth Advisors, an existing firm supported by LPL Strategic Wealth Services. San Diego-based The Warter Group by Seapoint Wealth Advisors brings approximately $100 million in client assets from Plan Member.

Warter, who has more than 15 years of experience, previously was a regional director who worked with approximately 1,000 advisors throughout Southern California. Houle, who has eight years of experience, started out in her father’s financial planning business as his successor. They teamed up after Warter acquired Houle’s family practice.

“We’re a young team, but we’ve formed a community within our business,” Houle said. “We’ve created a culture where our clients know each other. It’s been beautiful to see my father’s legacy continue as we build out our own brand and take the practice to the next level.”

Mergers & Acquisitions

5. Curi Capital, RMB Capital Agree To Merge Into $11 Billion Entity

Jason Sandner, CEO, Curi

Curi, a national healthcare advisory firm whose businesses include Curi Advisory, Curi Capital and Curi Insurance, agreed to acquire a majority stake in RMB Capital. Curi Capital, an RIA with approximately $1.6 billion in assets under advisement (AUA), will merge with RMB, an RIA with over $9.6 billion in AUA.

Dick Burridge, Founding Partner and CEO of RMB, will take on a new role as Executive Chairman and stay on as co-Chief Investment Officer. Dimitri Eliopoulos, CEO of Curi Capital, will become CEO of the newly combined entity. Curi RMB Capital will be headquartered in Chicago, and all of the approximately 180 employees of both firms are expected to be retained.

“This investment and partnership with RMB, coming on the heels of Curi’s recent merger with Constellation, strategically advances that commitment,” said Curi CEO Jason Sandner. “We’re well positioned, now nationally and with differentiated healthcare and financial services expertise, to meet and serve our clients across all of their needs.”

6. Waverly Acquires $146 Million Prosper Financial Advisers In Florida

Josh Reidinger, CEO, Waverly Advisors

Birmingham, Alabama-based Waverly Advisors acquired St. Petersburg, Florida-based Prosper Financial Advisers, which oversees $146 million. Rhonda Holifield founded Prosper in 2008. Her entire team is expected to join Waverly.

It is Waverly’s sixth RIA acquisition of 2023 and the 10th deal since Waverly took an equity investment in December 2021 from Wealth Partners Capital Group (WPCG) and HGGC’s Aspire Holdings platform. Waverly, which was founded in 1999, has 13 offices nationwide, and a team of more than 100 professionals overseeing approximately $7.7 billion in AUM.

“We love the energy Rhonda and her colleagues bring to this partnership,” said Waverly CEO Josh Reidinger. “Their mission and values align seamlessly with Waverly’s, and we look forward to welcoming their team to the Waverly family.”

Promotions & People Moves

7. Morgan Stanley Reportedly Appoints Jed Finn Head Of Wealth Management

Jed Finn, COO of Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley appointed Jed Finn the head of its wealth management division, according to reports of an internal memo. Finn currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the division. He joined the wirehouse in 2011 and has held various leadership roles there. Finn previously was a partner at McKinsey & Company.

Last month, Morgan Stanley named Co-President Edward “Ted” Pick to succeed outgoing CEO James Gorman, effective Jan. 1, when Pick will also join the Board of Directors. Co-President Andy Saperstein will become the Head of Wealth and Investment Management. Gorman, who has been CEO for 14 years, will become Executive Chairman.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for the firm, given the capabilities and the resources that we have, to do more for our clients and to be a better provider of solutions,” Finn is quoted as saying in a profile on Morgan Stanley’s website. “The way we do that, and even the way we define wealth, has a lot of potential to grow and evolve.”

Recruiter Of The Month

Jim Gold, CEO And Co-Founder, Steward Partners Global Advisory

Jim Gold, CEO And Co-Founder, Steward Partners Global Advisory

In November, New York-based Steward Partners Global Advisory announced the acquisition of the Raymond James-affiliated Freedom Street Partners, whose Chesapeake, Virginia-based network of 38 advisors manage $3.2 billion in client assets. Freedom Street has 17 locations in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest.

The same month, Steward Partners brought on Miller Family Wealth Management, a two-person team comprised of Charles (Chuck) Miller and Simone Jones, who oversee approximately $275 million in AUM from Dalton and Kennesaw, Georgia.

Steward Partners has approximately $28 billion in client assets. As of June, the firm had more than 400 partners, more than 200 advisors and more than 35 offices nationwide, according to its website. And now for our Q&A with Jim Gold, CEO and Co-Founder of Steward Partners Global Advisory.

WSR: How did Steward Partners determine that Freedom Street Partners would be a good addition, and how did the acquisition come together?

Gold: Steward has been searching for the right opportunity to launch our M&A division. We were looking for a group of advisors who were interested in monetizing their business and then staying on to continue to grow with additional resources. We also looked for a leadership team with recruiting and M&A expertise as well as a partnership culture. Ultimately, Freedom Street Partners checked every box.

WSR: How does the new “owned business” division at Steward Partners work, and how does it fit into your long-term RIA M&A growth goals?

Gold: Steward’s M&A division is the final piece of our growth strategy. We want to offer advisors and their teams numerous ways to become a partner. We’re one of the very few firms that offer W2, 1099, IAR only and now M&A. We are the only firm that also offers equity in the company to all partners. This will dramatically increase our growth and has allowed us to achieve a record year in 2023 for assets, revenue and advisors onboarded.

WSR: How does the overall wealth management M&A landscape look as we head into 2024, for potential buyers and sellers?

Gold: The M&A market is robust for a platform provider like Steward. You have numerous factors converging that will drive deal flow. Demographics, succession, scale, wirehouse breakaway M&A, RIA breakaways just to name a few. There are over 15,000 RIA firms, 80% of which are managing less than $500 million in assets. This creates an enormous pool of potential sellers over the next decade.

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

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