February 2024 Financial Advisor and RIA Moves and Acquisitions

As February draws to an end, Dakota recorded a total of 32 transactions. Despite the month's shortness, even in a leap year, February's market activity remained consistent with our forecasts.

In this article, we're listing the financial advisor and RIA moves and acquisitions we tracked in February 2024. By the end of this, you'll have a better understanding of movement that happened last month.

One of the larger acquisitions this month; LPL Financial has announced its agreement to purchase Atria Wealth Solutions, marking a significant consolidation in the brokerage industry. Specific financials were not disclosed, but the acquisition was officially agreed upon with expectations to finalize in the latter half of 2024. Atria's affiliated advisors are slated to transition to LPL's platform by mid-2025, integrating their operations and client services. Atria, based in New York City, manages approximately $100 billion in client assets, indicating the scale and impact of this acquisition.

One of the larger moves this month, UBS has recruited a nine-person advisory team from Merrill Lynch, known as Foley, DeLuise & Associates, which is based in Paramus, New Jersey. The team, overseeing more than $2 billion in assets, is now part of UBS’s Manhattan Market. Led by Matthew Foley, Lawrence DeLuise, and Christopher Butler, the team has extensive experience in the financial services industry, with Foley having 27 years, DeLuise 26 years, and Butler 14 years.


Ameriprise Financial has added financial advisors from RBC Capital Markets, who operate as Pacific Crest Planning, based in Kennewick, WA. The team is led by private advisor Ryan Sullivan, with key members including Kyle Blodgett, Niles Gale and Landra Macy. The team manages over $525 million in assets and brings over a combined 66 years of industry experience.

Financial advisors Jonathan Maloney and Niki Davis have moved from Wells Fargo Advisors to LPL Financial's advisor channel, bringing with them approximately $175 million in assets. They have established Maloney Davis Wealth Management in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of their move to LPL. Maloney, with 19 years in the industry, joined Wells in 2004, while Davis, a 10-year industry professional, started with Wells in 2013.

Rockefeller Capital Management has added a four-advisor team from Truist Investment Services. The advisors, John Lewis, Joseph Bartholomew III, Richard Blackwell, and Kylie Roman, operate as Lewis Wealth Partners. They are based in Richmond, Virginia and manage approximately $1.8 billion in assets. Together, they bring 88 years of combined experience, with backgrounds at notable firms like BB&T Securities, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Global Markets, SunTrust Investment Services, and UBS PaineWebber.

UBS has recruited a team from Merrill Lynch, based in Albany, New York. The team, led by James P. Hart, a veteran with 38 years in the industry, managed $1.3 billion in assets at Merrill Lynch and includes members Emily Hoag, Natalie Squillace, and James' son, Nolan. They specialize in serving athletes and entertainers. This group, known as The Hart Group, will be part of the UBS Greater New England Market and will operate from an Albany office under the leadership of Gabriel D’Amica.

Garrett, Perkins & Horton Advisory Partners, based in Birmingham, Alabama has joined Summit Financial. They were previously with Ameriprise where they bring over approximately $530 million in assets. The team is led by Stephen Garrett, who has been with Ameriprise for his entire 32-year career, along with Mark Perkins and Brandon Horton, who have each spent about two decades at Ameriprise.

Summit has added Brad Werner & Co, headquartered in Valparaiso, IN. The team is led by Brad Werner, who managed $195 million in assets at Securities America in both Indiana and Florida. Carmen Werner, who oversees operations for the practice, has also joined Summit alongside Brad.

LPL Financial adds three financial advisors from Osaic Wealth, who collectively managed around $520 million in assets. The advisors, Jason Hohenstein, Kevin Snow, and William Zoromski, are based in Wausau, Wisconsin and operate under Equity Design Group. They have over 90 years of combined experience in the financial services sector and founded Equity Design in 1997. Previously, they were registered with SagePoint Financial, a predecessor of Osaic, since 2011, and have also worked with Onesco and Securities America.

Blair Waller has joined LPL Financial, bringing with him approximately $150 million in assets. He was previously with Corebridge Financial, a subsidiary of AIG. With this move, he has launched Waller Creek Wealth Management in Austin, Texas. Waller aims to build a boutique practice focused on personalized client relationships.

Anthony Englert, a former Goldman Sachs advisor, has founded Alfa Advisory in Denver, Colorado, focusing on serving entrepreneurs and business owners. Alfa Advisory has partnered with Sanctuary Wealth to provide technology, infrastructure, and back-office support to scale their visions and build wealth. The firm offers a range of services, including financial planning, investment management, and tax and estate planning. Englert's career includes significant tenure at Goldman Sachs, a brief period at Merrill Lynch, and time with Cetera Advisor Network before returning to Goldman and ultimately launching Alfa.

NewEdge Wealth has recruited Roland Pritchett and Andrew Noble from JPMorgan to establish a new office in Atlanta. Pritchett, who brings over 30 years of experience in wealth management, has been appointed as the managing director of the new Atlanta office. His career includes tenures at UBS, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, and JPMorgan, where he held significant roles. Noble, who began his career in trading at Charles Schwab before transitioning to wealth management, joined JPMorgan in 2022 and has now moved to NewEdge along with Pritchett.

Stifel has added Chehalis, WA-based Columbia Crest Financial Advisors, which manages approximately $335 million in assets. They were previously part of Wells Fargo and led by Richard Reith and Laura Nelson. Reith began his career in the investment industry in 2007, initially joining A.G. Edwards & Sons. He subsequently moved to Wells Fargo in 2008. Conversely, Nelson started her investment career in 2013 at LPL before moving to Wells Fargo in 2014. The team also includes advisors Silas Newkirk and Trina Whitten, with Whitten operating from a satellite office in Roseburg, Oregon. The four-person advisor team provides investment advice and insurance along with planning around retirement, taxes and estates.

Morgan Stanley has recruited a veteran team of financial advisors from UBS, consisting of Jonathan Torop and Gregory Lang, based in Midtown Manhattan. The duo was responsible for managing approximately $329 million in client assets at the time of their departure. Jonathan Torop, a veteran with 24 years in the industry, has previously worked with prominent firms like Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse before his tenure at UBS starting in 2013. At UBS, he was part of the private wealth unit. Gregory Lang, who started his career in 2005, has a similar professional trajectory, having worked at Oppenheimer & Co., Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse prior to UBS.

Cetera Financial Group has expanded its network by welcoming Regal Wealth Advisors to Summit Financial Networks, a division of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Regal Wealth, known for its extensive planning and investment services, managed over $312 million in assets. Previously affiliated with LPL Financial, Regal Wealth Advisors is based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and its move to Cetera signifies a strategic shift in its business alignment within the financial advisory landscape. The firm was co-founded by Michael McCarthy and Andrew S. Pincus, both of whom bring a wealth of expertise and professional designations such as CFP, CLU, ChFC, JD, and CPA. Both co-founders come with 30 years of experience in the industry, having previously worked at NFP Advisors Services and Kestra Financial, prior to their affiliation with LPL Financial. They are joined by Fred DaVeiga, another seasoned investment expert.

Raymond James has added two financial advisors, David Behar and David "Dave" Nagel, from Morgan Stanley, forming the Behar-Nagel Group within Raymond James & Associates in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The duo, specializing in serving business owners, executives, family offices, and pre-retirees, managed approximately $340 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley. Behar has accumulated over forty years of expertise in banking and wealth management, having held positions at Israel Discount Bank, Multi Commercial Private Bank Switzerland, and Multi Commercial Private Bank. He ventured into the financial advisory field with Smith Barney in 1999, subsequently moving to UBS in 2005, and then to Morgan Stanley in 2014. On the other hand, Nagel initiated his career in wealth management at Morgan Stanley six years before their transition, following a six-year tenure at an employment screening firm. The decision to join Raymond James was influenced by the firm's strong commitment to both domestic and international clients and its respect for advisors. This acquisition is part of a broader trend of Raymond James attracting several advisors from Morgan Stanley in recent months.

Prospera Financial Services, a boutique wealth management firm, has broadened its network through the inclusion of Painter, Smith & Amberg, Inc. The team is led by advisors Charles Painter, David Smith, Jeffrey Amberg, and Kallie Rawson. This Redlands, California-based firm manages $650 million in assets under management. Painter, Smith & Amberg, Inc. was established in 1982 and provides sophisticated investment services that combine the advantages of large firms with the personalized touch of an independent practice. The firm prides itself on over 40 years of exceptional client service, grounded in experience, integrity, and commitment. The team's four advisors bring over a century of combined experience in wealth management, 401k services, and investment opportunities. Painter emphasized the shared values between the two firms, particularly noting Prospera's familial culture, strong leadership, and commitment to integrity. Prospera is known for its flexible and resourceful approach, maintaining a high rep-to-home office ratio for personalized support.

Cubby Bice has recently shifted his practice, Bice Wealth Management, to LPL Financial. Bice made this move from Osaic to leverage LPL's broker-dealer, RIA, and custodial platforms, bringing along approximately $130 million in client assets. Based in Mooresville, N.C., Bice Wealth Management is dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial objectives. With over 25 years of experience in the financial industry, Cubby Bice is known for devising personalized investment strategies that enrich clients' lives. He is a well-qualified financial advisor, holding an MBA, AAMS, and CRPC designations. His professional journey started at Paine Webber in 1999. Following the merger of Paine Webber and UBS, he transitioned to A.G. Edwards, where he spent two years. Bice Wealth Management is supported by Cubby’s brother, Matt Bice and financial advisor, Kevin Nervegna.

David Eisenhauer, a financial advisor who managed approximately $450 million in client assets at Northwestern Mutual, has left the broker-dealer to start his own firm, Greykasell Wealth Strategies. The firm is based in Danville, California, and aims to serve high-net-worth individuals, families, and business owners. Greykasell Wealth Strategies registered with the SEC in January 2024 and Eisenhauer is accompanied by his entire team from Northwestern, including Director of Investments Michael Kimbrough. After a 14-year tenure at Northwestern, this move marks a significant transition for Eisenhauer, who initially registered with the firm in 2010. Kimbrough began his career in the financial industry in 2005 as a broker at Merrill Lynch, later working at Citigroup Global Markets and BMO Capital Markets, before joining Northwestern in 2020.

Pettinelli Financial Partners, a large financial advisor team based in Redwood City, California, has moved from Osaic Wealth to Stratos Wealth Partners. The team, led by founder Dennis Pettinelli and President Jon Pettinelli, consists of 22 members and manages $700 million in client assets. Dennis Pettinelli, with a 51-year career in the financial services industry, started at John Hancock and continued through various acquisitions to Osaic's predecessor. Jon Pettinelli has been with the firm since 2005 and took over as president when he purchased the firm from his father in January 2019. The transition to Stratos was driven by the firm's hybrid structure offering multiple custodians, the promise of enhanced operational efficiency, and the potential for further growth. Stratos also provides advisor support and portfolio management solutions to enhance client relationships.

Financial advisors James "Jamie" P. Debuque and Timothy M. Baltz have launched a new independent practice, Continuity Private Wealth, through LPL Financial. The duo was previously affiliated with Merrill Lynch. The team, which reported managing around $1 billion in assets, is based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and focuses on serving affluent clients with complex estate, tax planning, and investment needs. James Debuque and Timothy Baltz have been partners for nearly 15 years, building a private wealth team alongside Chief Operating Officer Wendy A. Fratrik, Client Relationship Manager Nicole Ferrara, and Wealth Management Associate Lisa Baltz. Dubuque began his career in 1994 at Merrill Lynch and holds CPFA, CPRC and CPWA designations. Baltz entered the investment world in 1994, he spent most of his career at Merrill Lynch, which he joined in 2003. He holds CPFA and CRPC designations. Their practice has grown through mergers and acquisitions and a vast referral network, fostering deep relationships across multiple generations within the community. This transition allows them access to a broader range of investment options, advanced financial planning tools, and specialist support to offer unique client experiences, aligning with LPL's advisor-centric culture.

Wells Fargo has expanded its network by hiring nine financial advisors in January. The advisors oversaw a combined total of about $950 million in assets at their previous firms. Kevin Connelly, a top performer among January's new hires, has transitioned to Wells Fargo's Private Client Group in Bethesda, Maryland, from UBS, where he generated over $1.1 million in revenue from nearly $195 million in client assets. Over his 37-year career, Connelly has completed a remarkable career milestone, having worked at all four major wirehouses—Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley (including its Citigroup Global Markets predecessor), UBS, and now Wells Fargo. Brett Fleckman transitioned to their Private Client Group in New York City from Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., bringing over $1 million in annual revenue from approximately $200 million in client assets. With over 19 years in the industry, Fleckman's career includes positions at notable firms such as AllianceBernstein, Thomas Weisel Partners, J.P. Morgan Securities, and Barclays Capital. Mason City, Iowa–based advisor Shannon Kropp moved from LPL Financial to Wells, managing over $167 million and generating more than $936,000 in annual revenue. Other recruits include H.W. Constantin Nelson from Morgan Stanley, Trent Brining from Copper Financial, and Gary Wayne from Janney Montgomery Scott, each bringing substantial experience and managing significant client assets. The bank channel at Wells Fargo was strengthened by the addition of Mike Dellisant and Dave Levin from Baker Tilly in San Diego, and Paul Curcio from Santander Securities in Allentown, Pennsylvania, all of whom bring years of experience and managed substantial assets.

Raymond James has recruited an advisor team from Merrill Lynch. The team, the Anderson McKelvey Group, includes advisors Jesse Anderson, Christopher McKelvey, and Anthony Gilotti, and is based in Winter Park, FL. At Merrill Lynch, the team managed $450 million in assets, specializing in services for families, retirees, business owners, and executives in the aerospace and defense sectors. Jesse Anderson and Christopher McKelvey both initiated their careers in the financial sector at Morgan Stanley, with Anderson starting in 2001 and McKelvey in 2010, before moving to Merrill in 2011. Anderson holds CFA, CFP and CIMA designations, while McKelvey holds a CFP designation. Anthony Gilotti joined the team in 2022, following his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He holds a CRPC designation.

Ameriprise Financial has welcomed a new advisor team from Merrill Lynch, bringing with them $320 million in client assets. The team, based in Tacoma, Washington, operates as Guthrie Rouner Group and consists of advisors Jim Guthrie and Stephen Rouner. They are also supported by Registered Client Service Associate Nick Vanderlinda. Jim Guthrie, who has been in the financial industry since 1995, initially started his career with Merrill Lynch. Guthrie also holds CFP and CRPC designations. Stephen Rouner entered the financial sector in 2010 with Chase Investment Services Corp and has also worked with J.P. Morgan Securities before joining Merrill Lynch in 2014. Both Guthrie and Rouner aim to enhance client relationships and increase efficiency in their practice through the support and tools provided by Ameriprise. This move highlights the ongoing shifts within the financial advisory landscape as professionals seek platforms that offer advanced resources and client-centric services.

Acquisitions & RIAs:

OneDigital Investment Advisors has acquired WealthSource Partners. WealthSource, based in San Luis Obispo, California, is a registered investment advisor firm that oversees approximately $2 billion in client assets. This acquisition marks a significant expansion for OneDigital, extending its wealth management presence across nine states, including Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida, with a team of 44 advisors. The firm was founded in 2009 when Bryan Sullivan of Vellum Financial and Eric Patton and Jon Dubravac of Avant-Garde Advisors combined their firms. WealthSource is a financial services company specializing in comprehensive financial planning, investment management, and insurance solutions.

Miracle Mile Advisors has added two firms, bringing in a combined total of $600 million in assets under management. Caplan Financial Group, based in Baltimore, and Advisory Partners, located in Chicago. Caplan Financial Group, which caters to high-net-worth clients, manages approximately $350 million in assets. Advisory Partners, which adopts a family office model, oversees around $250 million.

Carson Group has expanded its Northeast presence by adding Fisher Financial Advisors, marking its first acquisition of 2024. This collaboration introduces Carson Wealth's inaugural offices in New Hampshire and Vermont, enhancing the firm's geographic footprint. Fisher Financial, managed by Tim Fisher and his son Nate Fisher, manages $180 million and aims to leverage Carson's extensive resources. As part of the agreement, Fisher Financial will undergo rebranding to Carson Wealth.

Wealth Enhancement Group (WEG) has acquired Washington Wealth Advisors, a Virginia-based independent RIA with assets exceeding $273 million. The acquired firm, led by Maura Schauss and Todd Youngdahl, comprises three financial advisors and four client service staff. Founded in 2011, Washington Wealth Advisors has established itself as a reliable financial advisor offering comprehensive services including financial and retirement planning, investment management, and more. The firm is known for its client-centric approach, prioritizing the best interests and experiences of its clients, including families, executives, and small business owners.

Perigon Wealth Management has acquired Prudeo Partners, a registered investment advisor firm. Prudeo Partners was formerly known as Asset Management & Financial Planning. The firm, based in West Columbia, South Carolina and also operating from Reading, PA, oversees assets totaling $425 million. The team is made up of partners Michael Krumholz and Andrew Todd, along with a group of financial advisors. Michael Krumholz has been involved in financial services for over 25 years, registering with notable firms such as LPL Financial and Cambridge to name a few. Todd sparked his career in 2000 at Horizon Investments and subsequently established his own firm, Todd Financial Solution, in 2001. As Prudeo continues to grow, the team will eventually transition to the Perigon name.

Pathstone has acquired Crestone Capital, a Boulder, Colorado-based registered investment advisor firm managing over $3 billion in client assets. Crestone, established in 1991 by Eric Kramer, focuses on providing advisory services to ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs and executives. With more than 50 employees and offices in Colorado, Texas, and California, Crestone serves about 150 families. As part of the acquisition, Eric Kramer will become a member of Pathstone's chief executive officer council and chief investment office. Eric Kramer, beyond his work at Crestone, has significantly impacted academia through his roles at the University of Colorado Foundation, serving on the board for over a decade and as Chairman of its Investment Committee for eight years. His extensive 40-year career in the industry was honored in 2019 with the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Service Award.

Allworth Financial has acquired Brennan Asset Management, a registered investment advisor based in Redding, California. Robert Brennan, the founder and CEO of Brennan Asset Management, expressed his desire to focus more on client service by reducing his operational duties through this partnership. The acquisition adds $300 million in assets to Allworth Financial's portfolio. Allworth Financial, recognized as one of America's rapidly expanding registered investment advisors (RIAs), has secured its third partnership in 2024 with this acquisition. This acquisition marks Allworth's 34th overall and expands its presence in California with its 16th office. Despite the significance of the deal, the financial terms were not made public.

The Retirement Planning Group (TRPG) has acquired 100% of the assets of Dightman Capital Group, Inc., an RIA based in Overland Park, Kansas. Brian Dightman, President of Dightman Capital Group, will become a Senior Wealth Advisor at TRPG. He started his wealth management career in 2002 at RBC Wealth Management and spent the following 6 years learning the industry, which ultimately led to him forming the Registered Investment Advisory firm in 2008. Prior to becoming a Wealth Manager, Brian spent a dozen years in the technology industry at a variety of small and large hardware and software companies (Microtek, MetaCreations, aQuantive, Microsoft). This acquisition aligns with TRPG's ongoing mergers & acquisitions and is supported by Cetera Holdings, enhancing TRPG's position as a premier financial advisor Wealth Hub. Kevin Conard, CEO of TRPG, highlighted the acquisition as a step towards providing independent advisors with more client-focused time by reducing operational business burdens.

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Written By: John Washington, Data Research Analyst

John Washington is the Data Research Analyst at Dakota.