Second Half of February RIA and Financial Advisor Moves and Acquisitions

Wrapping up February the wire house channel became more active as recruiting picked up.   On a specific firm level, many of the same trends that existed during 2022 continued this month mainly: Morgan Stanley continued to be the wire house leader as attractive 300-350% signing deals are offered, and Merrill losing the most FAs. 

Merrill does continue to fill out their retail bank branches with salary/commission structures and attract younger/next Generation advisors. For an asset manager, this will make the relationship with the Merrill home office approval lists all that more important with many of the branch based FAs using firm models. 


Christopher Matheson in Glendora, CA, Todd Clarke based in Gilbert, AZ, and Thomas "Ryan" Leggett in Midlothian, VA  have all joined Totus Wealth Management, who partner with Cetera. Together the three FAs are bringing $610 M AUM with them.  The three used to clear through OneAmerica Securities.  Totus’s main office is located in Houston, TX.   

H.L. Wiginton Capital Management led by Mike Wiginton in Jasper, AL managing $220 has joined Steward Partners.  This is the first team that Steward is boarding using the Pershing platform post the Raymond James separation. 

Also joining Steward Partners is Clarity Private Wealth Solutions (former Team name Ferguson Bailey Private Wealth Management Group) led by John N. Ferguson and Charles B. Bailey in Mobile, AL with $250 M AUM.  The Clarity team was previously with Wells Fargo.  This is the fourth Team to join Steward in 2023 and has been one of the fastest growing RIAs since launch in 2013 and consistently has a many FAs listed on the Forbes Shook Best in State lists. 

Phillip Knight and Amy Lawler based in the heart of Texas oil country in Midland, TX managing $715 M AUM have joined Americana Partners.  The move was centered on the client base that they serve being heavily tied to the energy sector, and they felt larger firms were shying away from the oil and gas industry as the Team was previously with Morgan Stanley.  Americana has added additional Morgan Stanley talent over the years including MS CIO David Darst. 

Schwinck Private Wealth led by Karl Schwinck and John McCloskey based in Denver, CO managing $500 AUM has joined Ashton Thomas Private Wealth.  This will bring Ashton Thomas AUM to $2B AUM.  The Team was previously with Wells. 

Jeff Steiner and Tim Durbin based in St. Louis, MO managing $1 B AUM have joined Private Wealth Asset Management.  They departed US Bank so they could focus less on a mass market approach. PWA’s AUM is now over $2.5 B across the mid-west. 

Randall and Kerry Bliss who form HB Wealth Advisory  and manage $70 M AUM have been acquired by Alluvial Private Wealth with backing from Sanctuary.  This is the fifth “mini” acquisition that Sanctuary has taken part in as the trend of partial acquisitions continues. 

Brent R. and Bradley C. Chappell whose team manages $1.5 B AUM in the north Houston suburb of the Woodlands have joined Sanctuary Wealth.  This is the largest addition to Sanctuary since 2018.  The Team has been named to the Barrons top 1,200 FA list and top 40 under 40 list . 


The Umbel Group based in Savannah, GA led by Daniel C. Umbel, Jeffrey A. Heeder and Karl E. Schiefer managing $650 M AUM joined Morgan Stanley.  The Team has consistently been ranked on the Forbes Best in State list.  They were previously with Merrill. 

The ​​Mangiaracina Stuart Group which includes Leonard Mangiaracina and Gregory S. Stuart based in the DC suburb of Potomac, MD managing $400 M AUM have joined Morgan Stanley.  They were previously with Merrill. 

Jeremy E. McDade, Derek B. Cisne and Gary S. Jefferson based in Little Rock, AR managing $330 M AUM have joined Morgan Stanley.  The trio were previously with UBS. 

Leiman Inserra Paduano Group which includes Peter N. Inserra, Matthew and Robert A. Paduano Jr have joined Morgan Stanley in Melville, NY.  They manage $1.5 B AUM and are renaming themselves the The Inserra and Paduano Group. 

Black Group led by Brendan P. Black, Peter E. Black, Wei-Ying Cheng and Owen R. Black located in Princeton, NJ have joined UBS managing $512 M AUM.  The Team was consistently ranks on the Forbes Best in State list and have left Morgan Stanley. 

Acquisitions and RIAs: 

TruClarity Management Solutions has been purchased by Dynasty Financial Partners today.  This acquisition helps to bolster the transition services Dynasty can offer, specifically targeting wire house FAs seeking independence. 

While not an acquisition per se, Commonwealth Financial Network has announced that it will transition the firm away from being an independent BD, into a mega- RIA that also maintains a BD platform.  Commonwealth currently has $243 B AUM as they exited a record 2022 in recruits.

One of the larger news events of the month was the decision of Focus Financial to go private as they were purchased by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.  Focus stated this will enable them to continue their acquisition strategy and further add to the 73 RIA stable they have amassed. 

Walker Wealth led by Craig Walker based in Fullerton, CA managing $301 M AUM has been purchased by Mariner Wealth Advisors.  Walker focuses on working with medical professionals.   For Mariner, this will be the 14th office in California and brings AUM to over $108 B AUM.

Jacob KrecicJustin Fitchko, and Martin Hopkins with $450 M AUM based in Cincinnati, OH have joined RIA DayMark Welath Partners (Dynasty affiliated). They were previously with Wells as were the  founders of DayMark who started the firm last year.  This will bring DayMark AUM close to $2 B AUM after the most recent addition. 

Rex Capital Advisors an RIA managing $1.5 B AUM has been purchased by Pathstone (PE backed).  Rex serves a family client base of 12 families and has been the fastest growing RIA in Rhode Island.  Post merger, Pathstone will manage over $80 B AUM and is the firm’s 11th acquisition. 

Laurel Wealth Advisors  led by Mark Welsh and Lee Tripodi based in Solana, CA who manages $2.25 B AUM has been purchased by Integrated partners out of Waltham, MA.  Integrated has been named one of New England’s fastest growing RIAs and their first on the West Coast. 

One-to-One Financial Advisors with $417 M AUM based in Indianaoplis, IN and specializes in workplace retirement plans has been purchased by Allworth Financial (PE backed) 

Also purchased by Allworth, RedRock Wealth Management based in Las Vegas, NV with $160 M AUM.  RedRock had previously broken away from MassMutual’s investment management firm.  Allworth has now made 24 acquisitions over the past five years and noted that they are becoming more cautious in their acquisitions as the cost of capital has gotten more expensive.  

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Written By: Gui Costin, Founder, CEO

Gui Costin is the Founder and CEO of Dakota.