RIA Roundup: Manhattan West Exceeds $1B in Assets with Private Wealth Recruits

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Mergers and acquisitions activity in the RIA space may have slowed in recent months, but firms are still adding talent and getting deals done.

Manhattan West, a 7-year-old wealth management firm in Los Angeles, announced this week it has added two advisors from Aspiriant and Key Private Bank, while Steward Partners snagged a four-person team from Merrill Lynch.

Meanwhile, RIA F.L.Putnam acquired a two-person practice in Portland, Maine.

In earlier reported news, CNBC’s Ron Insana has joined Dynasty Financial Partners as chief market strategist.

Manhattan West Adds to Private Wealth Team

Manhattan West, a wealth management and alternative investments firm based in Los Angeles, surpassed $1 billion in assets with the addition of two advisors to its private wealth team.

Orin Winick has joined from Aspiriant, a San Francisco-headquartered RIA, where he held leadership roles for nearly 10 years, after four years as vice president of wealth and investment management for Barclays. He has taken on the roles of managing director and financial advisor at Manhattan West.

Nicholas Wolf joins from Key Private Bank, where he was vice president of relationship management. He’ll serve as executive director and financial advisor for Manhattan West.

Bringing the private wealth team to a total of 13 professionals, Winick and Wolf now have access to the firm’s traditional liquid portfolios, as well as exclusive access to a range of alternative investment strategies.

Established in 2016, Manhattan West has been focused on carefully curating teams of specialists across each of its business verticals: wealth management, tax, insurance and business management services for individuals and corporations, as well as alternative asset management across private equity, private debt, venture capital and real estate. The firm has grown assets by nearly half over the last five years through the recruitment of advisors from financial institutions and other RIAs.

Early this year, the firm added Patrick McDonald from MAI as managing director and financial advisor on the private wealth team.

Vantage Point Joins Steward Partners from Merrill Lynch

Steward Partners Global Advisory, an employee-owned and private equity-backed partnership of independent advisory firms based out of Washington, D.C., has added a four-person team from Merrill Lynch with about $450 million in client assets and offices in Madison, Wisc., and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Led by Mark Morasky, Erik Clay and Chris Figaro, Vantage Point Private Wealth manages around $450 million in assets for corporate executives, business owners and wealthy individuals in or near retirement. They are joined by Partner and Associate Patrick Norris.

The firm has selected BNY Mellon | Pershing as their custodian.

“We are especially excited about having access to the open architecture on the Steward Partners platform because now we will be able to choose the solutions that best match each client’s needs,” Figaro said, in a statement.

Founded a decade ago with about $50 million in client assets, Steward Partners has grown to close to $30 billion across about 225 advisors, primarily through the recruitment of breakaways and, more recently, independent broker/dealer advisors. Affiliated practices may join as independent contractors or W-2 employees; they may take Steward branding or operate under their own as a Steward Partners affiliate.


Incoming advisors are also offered a choice of custodian, after the firm purchased a broker/dealer in early 2021, moved client assets from Raymond James’ broker/dealer platform to its custody/clearing and RIA business and shifted to a multi-custodial model.

Steward was the first firm to sign up for Goldman Sachs’ nascent RIA custody platform, spurred by the acquisition of Folio Financial the previous fall. But, while SEC filings indicate a custody relationship has been established, Steward has yet to bring any client assets onto the growing GSAS platform.

BNY Mellon | Pershing was added earlier this year, and Steward has brought several teams onto that platform.

F.L.Putnam Buys Aurora Financial Group in Maine

F.L.Putnam Investment Management Company has acquired Aurora Financial Group, a two-person RIA in Portland, Maine, with $66 million in client assets across fewer than 70 individuals and three charitable organizations.

President Charles Dibner founded Aurora in 2005 after three years as a principal at Investment Management and Consulting Group and 13 years in portfolio management with Advest. Joined by Administrative Assistant Ann Bacon, Dibner is joining F.L.Putnam as a strategic consultant and private client advisor.

Based in Wellesley, Mass., F.L.Putnam oversees around $4.5 billion in client assets across approximately 40 advisors and fewer than 2,000 clients, including more than 160 philanthropic organizations.  


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