January 2024 Financial Advisor and RIA Moves and Acquisitions

At the commencement of the new year, Dakota documented a total of 40 transactions. Despite a reduction in market activities during the holiday season, January experienced a significant resurgence. In alignment with our predictions, the beginning of 2024 was marked by a heightened level of activity.

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

Hightower Advisors has made its first acquisition of 2024 by acquiring Capital Management Group of New York(CMG), a registered investment advisor overseeing around $3.3 billion in assets. The New York-based firm, founded in 1992 with 38 professionals, was previously affiliated with Equitable Advisors. This marks Hightower's initial deal of the year following 12 transactions in 2023.

One of the larger moves this month, A 26-person advisory team from Merrill Lynch, known as Towner Lund Howell Sharp & Associates, has joined Rockefeller Capital Management, rebranding as Axiom Wealth Partners. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based team, which manages approximately $5.1 billion in assets, is now under the leadership of Brett Thelander, the director of Rockefeller’s Northern Division.


Financial Advisor Joseph Mooshi, previously with JP Morgan, has joined Kestra Private Wealth Services. Mooshi has been with JP Morgan since entering the industry in 2017. He will operate as Mooshi Wealth Planning and Management, overseeing $440 million in assets, and headquartered in Novi, MI. Kestra Private Wealth Services is a subsidiary of Kestra Financial and manages approximately $4.4 billion in assets.

The father-son-daughter team of Keith Bryant, Christopher Bryant and Carissa Henderson join Raymond James. The trio was previously with RBC, but will operate as Bryant Wealth Management of Raymond James. They are headquartered in Denver, CO and manage roughly $340 million in assets. The Bryant family has approximately 60 years combined in the industry.

Financial Advisors (Paul Gaschen, Angel Berlingeri, & Jonathan "Jon" Casebolt) has joined Atria Wealth Solutions based in Lubbock, TX. Former Cetera advisors, Gaschen and Berlingeri, are joined by former Edward Jones advisor Casbolt to operate as Gaschen, Berlingeri & Casebolt. The team manages approximately $175 million in assets and specializes in investment management, financial and estate planning, and insurance.

FA Zachary Finadt has joined LPL Financial, aligned with Financial Partners. Fiandt oversees approximately $260 million in assets and stems from PNC Private Bank Trust. He is based in Fort Wayne, IN and works closely with high-net worth individuals. Fiandt started his career in 2011 with Charles Schwab and has since worked at Lincoln Financial Advisors, JP Morgan Securities and Cetera before joining PNC.

20 year industry veteran, Mike Davis, has joined Kestra Private Wealth Services, the RIA subsidiary of Kestra Financial, with his team Summiteer Financial. Davis has been with Edward Jones since joining the industry in 2002. Summiteer is based in Austin, TX and manages approximately $181 million in assets. This is Kestra’s second team to join in the state of Texas in 2023.

The Cypress Group, based in Wilmington, NC and managing $610 million in assets, has joined RBC Wealth Management from Truist. The firm provides investment solutions, wealth planning, and risk management services to high net worth individuals. The five person team is led by Paul Brinkley, Jeremy Beakes and Adam VanDamme, who have a combined total of over 55 years in the industry. In February 2021, they were with BB&T Securities, which subsequently merged with SunTrust Banks to create Truist.

UBS has drawn industry veteran Steve Nassau from Morgan Stanley. Steve, who spent 30 years with Morgan Stanely and over 40 years in the industry, joins UBS in Irvine, CA. He joins UBS’ Pacific Desert market and brings over $225 million in assets. Nassau was first registered in 1980 with E.F. Hutton & Co. He then proceeded to Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Kidder, Peabody & Co.

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Financial Advisor Peter Manning and his team, Helmsman Financial Strategies, have joined LPL Financial. Manning, with over two decades of experience, has served about 200 individual clients, managing approximately $175 million in advisory assets. The team joins from Cambridge and is based in Burlington, MA.

Financial Advisor Marvin Goldman and his team, Goldman Group, Inc, have joined LPL Financial. Goldman, based in Roseland, N.J., brings with him a wealth of experience, having started his career in the 1960s. He reports managing approximately $120 million in assets and stems from Cadaret, Grant & Co.

Andrew Tate departs from UBS’s O'Brien Tate Group, and joins Rockefeller to head Tate Wealth Partners. Tate Wealth is based in Charlotte, NC and manages approximately $600 million in assets. Andrew Tate began his career at Banc of America Securities in 2000 and worked at Sterling Capital Distributors before joining UBS in 2014.

UBS has recruited a 10-person advisory team from Merrill Lynch, known as GKB & Associates, which oversees nearly $2 billion in assets. The New York City-based team, led by Joseph Guarneri, Steven Kabot, Stefani Bollag, Daniel Russo, and Connor Heine, will join UBS’ Manhattan Wealth Management market under the management of Kellie Brady. The advisors have a collective 119 years of experience and primarily caters to high-net-worth clients.

A Merrill Lynch team, managing roughly $420 million in assets, has left to form Steadmont Advisors, a new RIA firm based in Birmingham, AL, via Dynasty Financial Partners. The team consists of Mimi Dunn, Taylor Hart, Amy Drinkard, and Tyler Decker, focusing on high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, retirement plans, and corporations. Mimi Dunn, with a career starting at Merrill Lynch in 1998, had a tenure at Wells Fargo Advisors before rejoining Merrill in 2009, while Hart and Drinkard began their Merrill Lynch registrations in 2010 and 2015 respectively.

Advisor Frank Durrum, previously with Edward Jones, has joined Raymond James bringing approximately $160 million in assets. Operating as Durrum Wealth Management, his team is based in Mount Pleasant, TX. They cater to a diverse clientele including business owners, corporate executives, families, retirees, and female investors. Durrum entered the financial industry in 2010, initially registering with Edward Jones.

Financial advisor Bruce Kunkle has shifted from Wells Fargo to join Ameriprise Financial's branch channel in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, bringing over $100 million in assets. Kunkle had been affiliated with Wells Fargo since the start of his career in 2012.

UBS has added Hammond Fay Bush & Associates, an eight-person advisory team, from Merrill Lynch. The team, which is based in Northbrook, IL, manages approximately $1.6 billion in assets. Led by Jack Hammond, Brian Fay, and Susan Bush, the team specializes in services such as legacy planning and portfolio restructuring for high-net-worth individuals and families. The advisors, who have a combined experience of 70 years, have been long-time employees at Merrill Lynch, joining the firm in 2002, 2015, and 1982 respectively.

The seven-member Stofan Agazzi Investments team, managing around $650 million in assets, has joined Stifel Independent Advisors. They are based in Joliet, IL and were previously with LPL Financial. The team is led by industry veteran Mark Stofan and includes financial advisors George Stofan, Carroll Klotz, Irene Celander, Jessica Martin, Daniel Murphy, and Ron Lambert. Mark Stofan originally launched his firm in 1978 as a stand-alone business before transitioning to operating as independent advisors.

LPL Financial has added an advisor team from Raymond James, led by Wayne Maier. The team, operating as Maier & Associates Financial Group in Bay City, Michigan, manages approximately $615 million in assets. Maier has extensive industry experience dating back to 1974 and has worked with various insurance brokerage firms.

Insigneo hires an advisor trio from JPMorgan Chase who launched Aventura Private Wealth. The team is led by Shmuel Maya, who founded the firm in Aventura, Florida. Maya, along with advisors Ahmed Roshdy and Andrea Bruno, manages over $430 million in assets for high-net-worth clients. Aventura Private Wealth has now joined Insigneo's independent network, marking a significant expansion for the Miami firm.

Advisor Bill Peacock has left LPL Financial to join Ameriprise Financial's independent channel. Based in San Angelo, Texas, Peacock oversees approximately $110 million in assets. Peacock's industry experience dates back to 1999, with previous stints at firms such as A. G. Edwards & Sons, Edward Jones, H.D. Vest Investment Services, Raymond James, and LPL.

Financial advisors David Segarra and Sean Sullivan of Latus Group, Ltd. have joined LPL Financial, bringing with them approximately $320 million in assets. Segarra, a former Seattle police officer and SWAT team member, founded Las Vegas-based Latus Group in 2009, and has been recognized by the National Association of Plan Advisors for his contributions to the industry. Sullivan, who joined the firm in 2018, focuses on investment due diligence and financial planning for both private wealth and corporate clients. They moved from Centaurus Financial, Inc. to join LPL Financial's broker-dealer, RIA, and custodial platforms.

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Sanctuary Wealth adds Allen Garner, a veteran UBS financial advisor with nearly 50 years in the industry. Garner, who began his career in 1975 with Merrill Lynch, stayed with the firm until his move to UBS in 2007. He has now launched Lexington, Kentucky-based Arras Wealth Management, in partnership with Mercer Wealth Management, under the Sanctuary umbrella.

Lance Lively, a financial advisor with 19 years of experience, has moved from Edward Jones to Ameriprise Financial in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He brings with him nearly $130 million in assets. Lively had spent his entire financial services career at Edward Jones up until this point.

Acquisitions & RIAs:

Finishing the year with 17 acquisitions, Wealth Enhancement closed 2023 with the acquisition of Foundational Wealth Advisory, a hybrid RIA headquartered in Macon, GA. They are a part of Advisory Services Network’s $5.8 billion platform. The firm helps multi-generational families with their asset, liability, philanthropic and estate planning needs. Foundational Wealth was launched in 2017 and led by Eric Wilson. WEG was one acquisition shy of meeting their goal of 18 acquisitions for the 2023 year.

Mariner Wealth Advisors closed out the 2023 year with one last deal to acquire Sacramento-based RIA, Confluence Financial Planning. Confluence was founded by Cynthia Meyers in 1983 and manages approximately $360 million in assets. This acquisition gives Mariner its sixth of the year and 99th location in the U.S. This deal was agreed upon back in October, but wasn’t closed until December 31th. Confluence will take over the Mariner name and branding moving forward.

Dakota Wealth Management has acquired C2C Wealth Management, a Mass-based RIA, establishing Dakota’s third office in the state. C2C Wealth Management, established in 2016 by Louis Della Valle and Maureen Mackowski, was established when the founders decided to separate from LPL Financial. C2C manages approximately $800 million in assets.

Mercer Global Advisors has acquired Denver-based RIA, Transitions Wealth Management, led by Bruce Bendell and founded in 1999. The firm manages approximately $465 million in assets and serves roughly 400 clients. Transitions Wealth offers investment advisory services to individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, and charitable organizations.

Waverly Advisors has acquired StrategIQ, an Indiana-based RIA managing $1.5 billion in assets. Founded in 1996 with over 20 advisors , StrategIQ serves high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans. StrategIQ's CEO, Chad Hassinger, anticipates that the partnership with Waverly will enable the firm to explore new markets and expand its wealth services. Hassinger, who began his career in 1992, registered with StrategIQ in 2007.

In its first deal of 2024, MAI Capital Management has acquired Madison Wealth Management, a Cincinnati-based RIA managing $1.4 billion in assets. The firm was founded in 2000 by James McDermott, Alan Henning and Edward Kuresman, and has satellite offices in Maryland and Virginia. McDermott and Kuresman will become regional presidents at MAI.

Savant Wealth Management has acquired Florida-based registered investment advisor firm, FirstWave Financial, overseeing $440 million in assets. The firm is made up of 14 professionals who chose Savant Savant for its growth engine and technology resources. Five members, including FirstWave's President Laura Chiesman, have assumed member-owner roles at Savant as part of the deal. This acquisition marks Savant's first into the Florida market.

MAI Capital Management has acquired Traverso Chambers Private Wealth Management, an RIA with $549 million in assets. The California-based firm, founded in 2009 by Marc Traverso and Timothy Chambers, employs six people. Traverso Chambers offers services including investment management, financial planning, insurance, retirement services, and business succession planning. Post-acquisition, Traverso and Chambers will serve as regional presidents at MAI, enhancing its presence in California, where it already has offices in Newport Beach and San Ramon.

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Captrust Financial Advisors has acquired Engrave Wealth Partners, a Texas-based firm with $770 million in assets. This includes the addition of ten team members from Engrave, among them co-founders Greg and Taylor Parker. Following the acquisition, Engrave Wealth Partners will rebrand as Captrust. The deal was finalized in late 2023.

With its second in Cincinnati of the year, MAI Capital Management has acquired WaterStone Investment Counsel, an Ohio-based firm with $144 million in assets. WaterStone, founded in 1995 by Mark Roberts and Don Brosz, will integrate into MAI's brand and infrastructure. Roberts and Brosz will join MAI as senior wealth advisors, working under regional president Ed Kuresman.

Buckingham Strategic Wealth has acquired Wasserman Wealth Management, a Michigan firm managing $300 million. This marks Buckingham's first deal of 2024 and expands its presence with a fourth office in Michigan. Wasserman, which has collaborated with Buckingham since 2003, is joining Buckingham's RIA, bringing its founder Brad Wasserman, partner Keith Rybak, and three other employees.

Allworth Financial Partners has acquired Tridea Advisors, based in California and overseeing $341 million in assets. The firm is led by partner Steve Eklund with advisors Allison Scoggin and Wesley Scoggin. This is Allworth’s 12th acquisition in California.

Allworth Financial Partners has acquired Capital Point Financial Group, which manages $280 million in assets under the leadership of John M. Selzer, Jr. The firm operates out of offices located in both Florida and Illinois.

Dakota Wealth Management has acquired Ledge Wealth Management, based in Sartell, MN. Ledge Wealth oversees about $400 million in assets. Kurt Durrwachter, the Founder and CEO of Ledge Wealth, Gina K. Bartell and six associates will join Dakota Wealth Management. This acquisition increased Dakota’s AUM to approximately $4.9 billion.

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Written By: John Washington, Data Research Analyst

John Washington is the Data Research Analyst at Dakota.