3 Of The Biggest Advisor Moves Of Q1 (And Why Your Move Might Be Next Up)

The first quarter of the year witnessed several notable moves within the industry, showcasing both the continued competition among firms vying for top talent as well as comfort among advisors (and their clients) spurred by a calming of the markets. 

Factors remain in place that should be viewed as encouraging by advisors curious to explore their own career options.  We’ll explore reasons why Q2 might be the ideal time to dip your toe in the water, but first..here are 3 of the biggest moves from across the country.

RayJay’s Bundle’s Up Billion In AZ

Raymond James & Associates has clinched a major victory in its Western division by attracting a powerhouse team from regional competitor RBC Wealth Management-U.S. The move, which unfolded in Scottsdale, Arizona, signals a significant shift in the financial advisory landscape.

At the helm is industry stalwart Glenn Pahnke, boasting an impressive 36-year track record in the field. Pahnke, who previously held a key position at Robert W. Baird & Co. before joining RBC in 2011, brings invaluable expertise and a wealth of experience to the table.

What sets this team apart is their remarkable achievement of managing $1.1 billion in assets for 741 households, as reported by Barron’s top 1,200 broker ranking for 2024. Alongside Pahnke, the team includes seasoned advisors Ted Churchill, Austin Pahnke, Tracy Jenkins, and six dedicated support staff, forming a formidable force in the industry.

This strategic move underscores Raymond James’ commitment to expanding its foothold in crucial markets and attracting top-tier talent. With the addition of Pahnke and his accomplished team, Raymond James aims to elevate its offerings and reinforce its position as a premier financial services provider in the region.

$2 Billion PickUp For Ashton Thomas Private Wealth

In a significant development, a team overseeing $2 billion at Raymond James Financial’s Alex. Brown unit has decided to reunite with their former boss in Boston. The Stafford Schauer Private Wealth Team made this strategic move, joining Ashton Thomas Private Wealth on January 11, according to BrokerCheck records.

Ashton Thomas, acquired last year by Arax Investment Partners, a private equity-backed rollup led by former Alex. Brown head Haig Ariyan, will now benefit from the expertise and client base brought by the Stafford team. This move is poised to strengthen Ashton Thomas’s presence in Boston, as the team sets up a new office in the city.

Led by advisors Chris Stafford, Cory Schauer, and Ines Seferi, along with client associates Meghan Thomson, Hunter Hendrix, and Susie Register, the Stafford Schauer Private Wealth Team brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success to Ashton Thomas. Notably, both Stafford and Schauer joined Raymond James in 2016 through its acquisition of the Alex. Brown division.

Rockefeller Grabs $5 Billion In Grand Rapids

In a bold strategic move, Rockefeller Global Family Office has secured a significant acquisition by enticing a high-performing Merrill Lynch team to join its ranks in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This notable transition emphasizes Rockefeller’s commitment to expanding its reach and fortifying its presence in key markets.

Led by seasoned veterans Jeffrey Towner, David Lund, Brett Howell, and Craig Sharp, the 26-person team brings with it an impressive track record. Together, they have not only generated an outstanding $16 million in annual revenue but have also successfully overseen a staggering $5 billion in client assets. This substantial asset under management reflects the team’s exceptional expertise and unwavering dedication to their clients’ financial goals.

Among the team’s notable advisors are Jonathan Lund, Jeff Dykstra, Joel Barrett, Christine Steinmetz, Morgan “Emie” Badersnider, and Zach Gebben, all of whom contribute to the wealth of experience and knowledge within the group. Remarkably, nearly all the brokers, with the exception of two, began their careers at Merrill Lynch, showcasing the depth of talent cultivated within the firm.

This significant move comes amidst discussions about Merrill Lynch’s fourth-quarter earnings, where executives noted that attrition rates remained steady around the historical average of 4%, with signs of a slowdown in recent months. Furthermore, brokers have welcomed the compensation changes announced for 2024, signaling a favorable environment for financial advisors exploring new opportunities.

Rockefeller’s strategic acquisition of the Merrill Lynch team underscores its commitment to delivering exceptional service and innovative solutions to clients while solidifying its position as a leading player in the wealth management industry.

Against this backdrop, the second quarter presents a compelling window of opportunity for financial advisors to consider their next career move. With a confluence of factors favoring transitions, Q2 might just be the ideal time for advisors to make strategic decisions for their professional futures.

Why Q2 Might Be the Right Time for Advisors to Consider a Move

Optimal Timing for High T12 Offers 

The recent performance of the stock market has likely resulted in elevated T12 (trailing 12 months) figures for many advisors. As offers from broker-dealers are often based on T12, seizing the opportunity while T12 numbers are high could lead to more lucrative compensation packages. With the iron hot, advisors can leverage their recent successes to negotiate favorable terms and secure a brighter financial future.

Intensifying Battle for Top Talent

The competition among broker-dealers for top talent remains fierce, driving firms to offer some of the highest packages and bonuses seen in years. Recognizing the value that experienced advisors bring to their platforms, broker-dealers are sparing no effort in enticing advisors to join their ranks. In this environment, advisors have the leverage to negotiate attractive incentives and benefits, enhancing their earning potential and professional satisfaction.

Strategic Planning for Year-End Transition 

Transitions within the financial advisory industry can be complex and time-consuming processes. For advisors aiming to settle into a new broker-dealer by January 1, 2025, initiating the transition process in Q2 is strategically advantageous. Beginning the transition now allows ample time for due diligence, negotiations, and seamless integration into the new firm, ensuring a smooth and successful start to the new year.

Get Started Now

In light of these compelling reasons, financial advisors are encouraged to seize the opportunities to explore new career paths, elevate their practices, and position themselves for long-term success in the ever-evolving financial services landscape.  3xEquity can secure multiple offers for you all while you remain 100% anonymous.  When it comes to your career you should control the conversation.  Click here to get started.



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