A team overseeing $4.8 billion in client assets has left UBS Financial Services Co. over the weekend to launch NewEdge Wealth, an independent RIA based in Pittsburgh.
The new RIA was formed in partnership with EdgeCo Holdings Inc. and follows the acquisition earlier this year of The Private Wealth Partners, which serves ultra-high-net-worth clients.
The UBS breakaways forming NewEdge include Jeffrey Kobernick, Robert Sechan, Walter Granruth, and John Straus Jr.
“New patterns and trends emerge, and we need to be nimble in order to optimize solutions and advance on client goals,” Sechan said. “It presents a new opportunity for us to customize investment and wealth management strategies that meet complex needs and objectives without many of the constraints found at larger firms.”
A key element of the team joining EdgeCo is the combination of the former UBS reps with Private Wealth Partners, which was founded by former Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and UBS executives and provided a framework for wealth management firms to support ultra-high-net-worth and institutional clients.
John Straus, Sr. led PWP, which will be rebranded as part of NewEdge Wealth, and led the design of the integrated technology and investment platform that serves as the backbone of NewEdge Wealth.
Straus, Sr. has been named as president of NewEdge Wealth.
“The landscape for advisers has shifted dramatically in recent years, as clients demand more innovative solutions,” he said. “The previous approach to wealth management no longer applies in today’s world. Clients need a fresh perspective and a new edge to make the most of their finances and meet their goals.”
Mark Bruno, managing director at Echelon Partners, said the pandemic has had a general dampening effect on breakaway activity this year, but that this move is proof that larger teams are still looking for opportunities to exit.
“While breakaway activity has slowed in 2020 relative to 2019, we have seen a notable increase in the number of $1 billion-plus teams that have broken away,” he said.
According to Echelon, average breakaway assets under management in the third quarter was $479 million, which is just short of the second-quarter’s record-setting $494 million average, but is still 69% higher than 2019’s average AUM of $284 million.
“While there are still a few weeks left in this year, it seems clear that there will be more $1 billion-plus breakaways in 2020 than any other year on record,” Bruno added.
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