Independent brokerage Ameriprise landed one of the biggest financial adviser hires of the year, adding a billion-dollar team that left rival Edward Jones behind.
Advisor Jennifer Marcontell and eight other staff launched the independent firm Marcontell Wealth Management in the Houston area after 23 years at Edward Jones, where the team managed $1.7 billion in client assets.
Edward Jones supported his first net loss of broker staff in a decade last year, but expects to accelerate hiring in 2022. Ameriprise’s workforce is moving in the opposite, positive direction. The firm added more than 100 advisors in the first quarter in the top 8,000 of its independent franchise arm.
“As I thought about the future of my firm, it became clear that I needed to find ways to increase our efficiency and provide development opportunities for my team members,” Marcontell said in an Ameriprise . statement the 5 of July.
His move marks the ninth-biggest move among independent brokerages this year, according to Financial Planning’s tracking of corporate moves due to recruitment or a merger or acquisition. The offers are maintain his record pace, despite equity volatility and inflation keeping advisors busy as they guide clients through economic turmoil. A change like Marcontell’s, in which she left one of the world’s top wealth managers as a W-2 employee to work for a rival company as an independent contractor, highlighted the continued movement of advisors and assets to these channels.
Brokerages and other wealth managers are trying to recruit and retain the most profitable advisors by changing their traditional operating models to attract as many planners as possible. For example, Ameriprise has an employee channel of 2,000 advisors alongside its independent franchise arm, while some of its rivals are now also taking the same approach.
In the statement, Marcontell said she chose Ameriprise from a number of potential landing spots after meeting with leaders, including National Women’s Recruiting Director Timari Robison, and discussing how Ameriprise could help. to strengthen its relationships with its customers. Marcontell’s practice serves approximately 450 families who have over $4 million in investable assets, on average, primarily working in the energy and chemical industries around the team’s current location in Mont Belvieu, Texas, and his former office in nearby Baytown.
“We appreciate the contributions Jennifer has made to our firm and our clients, and we wish her well in her future endeavours,” Edward Jones spokeswoman Catherine Stengel said in a statement. She added that the company’s focus remains on “Baytown customers” and helping them achieve their financial goals.
Edward Jones had amassed the largest workforce of advisers in the industry before freezing his hiring in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Since reopening to recruiting early last year, the firm has “built the pipeline of financial advisors with its strategy of growing and driving the success of branch teams,” according to its latest quarterly earnings report. Last month, in a pivot after 100 years of its traditional model of one adviser and director per office, the firm has given all of its brokers the option of sharing a branch with another firm by the end of 2023.
Such adjustments show how giant incumbents are responding to industry consolidation by changing their standard approaches.
For example, LPL Financial is the largest independent brokerage, but it said on July 8, it had agreed to acquire the Private Client Group business of West Conshohocken, Pa.-based Boenning & Scattergood, which has 40 employed advisers and $5 billion in client assets. LPL launched its employee brokerage arm, Linsco, in 2019 by a previous acquisition of similar size.
Teams with around $1 billion in assets or more are looking for succession plans and professional development paths for their team members, as well as fewer administrative burdens, says Cerity Partners CEO Kurt Miscinski .
Three billion-dollar companies merged with New York-based Cerity this year, allowing the registered investment advisory firm to approximately $50 billion in client assets and 425 employees. Last month, private equity firm Genstar Capital would have bought a majority stake in Cerity at a valuation of $1.6 billion, or 20 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a common measure of value. Miscinski declined to disclose the terms. In general, he says he doesn’t like to use the word “acquisition” because you can’t acquire people.
“They are going to be our business partners. They will be our colleagues. Together we will build,” he said.
Associate Financial Advisors Allie Gwynn, Todd Patton and Erik Pettine, Customer Service Specialists Alicia Bryan and Victoria Gonzalez, Operations Coordinator Ryan Heard, Operations Specialist Tenna Howard and Marketing Specialist Kenzie Lackey are moving with Marcontell to Ameriprise. They officially changed brokerage on July 1, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer and her team to the Ameriprise family,” Ameriprise’s Robison said in a statement. “The level of trust that Jennifer and her team have with their clients is remarkable.”