A team of 46 advisors with $10 billion in assets under administration moved between two of the largest enterprises at two of the largest independent broker-dealers.
Retirement Benefits Group, which has nearly $1 billion in assets from direct wealth management clients, began looking into a new affiliation last year, after Bill Hamm of Independent Financial Partners decided to leave LPL and launch a new IBD, according to Retirement Benefits principal Sean Ciemiewicz.
The San Diego-based group opted to join Resources Investment Advisors, a hybrid RIA and office of supervisory jurisdiction with Ladenburg Thalmann’s Triad Advisors which had itself left LPL in 2017. Retirement Benefits formally joined Triad on Jan. 2, following an Investment News report linking the firms in October.
Hamm’s new IBD, which is expected to launch April 1, has triggered a recruiting fight among Independent Financial and LPL’s other large enterprises. At least 70 advisors out of the 520-advisor OSJ have decided to stay with LPL, but Triad’s grab is one of the first for an outside IBD.
Retirement Benefits met with “many different companies,” including OSJ networks at LPL and those at other IBDs, Ciemiewicz says. The similarities between the employer-plan focused networks “played a big part in our decision to go to them,” he says.
The leadership team at Retirement Benefits and Vince Morris, the founder of the Overland Park, Kansas-based Resources Investment, have known each other for a long time and spoken in the past about “potentially joining forces together,” Morris says. Resources Investment will grow to 160 advisors after the move.
“Our experience of having done it ourselves and countless other advisors over the past two years really adds to that story of our success in the marketplace when we’re out recruiting prospective advisors to join our team,” Morris says.
Representatives for LPL didn’t return a request for comment on Retirement Benefits’ exit, but Hamm’s son Chris, the COO of Independent Financial, issued a statement wishing the group all the best in the new OSJ.
“They’re great friends of ours, as are Vince Morris and the folks at Resources,” he said, adding that the two practices “have always had a strong relationship” and Independent Financial’s exit “gave RBG the opportunity to analyze what’s best for the future of their firm.”
Ciemiewicz echoed the statement for his part, saying that he thinks Independent Financial is “going to be very successful in what they do.” In addition to its 46 advisors in 15 offices, Retirement Benefits has 22 other staff members. The firm services more than 580 retirement plans.
“An organization as large and dynamic and as innovative as RBG, they don’t take a transition lightly. They went through a significant due diligence process,” says Nate Stibbs, the chief strategy officer at Triad. “They were looking for an organization that could deliver more of a boutique partnership model.”
Atlanta-based Triad made two of the 50 largest recruiting grabs in the IBD space last year, adding a team with $750 million in client assets from LPL and a group with $850 million from Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. Stibbs says 2018 was one of the hybrid RIA-focused IBD’s best recruiting years ever.