Three Texas Advisors Break Away Into Mega-RIA

View Original Article — Financial Advisor

Three Texas wirehouse advisors managing a combined $750 million broke away from their employers to form a giant RIA, Dynasty Financial Partners announced on Thursday.

Two long-time Morgan Stanley advisors, Mark McAdams and Steve Schwarzbach, have joined forces with Blake Pratz, a UBS veteran, to form Icon Wealth Partners, an independent advisory firm in Houston.

“We all feel passionately that we can serve our clients’ needs better as an independent firm,” said Scwarzbach in a released statement. “There is a tremendous potential for us to now broaden our existing relationships and develop new ones. We believe strongly that the independent model is the best way for us to grow our business, both organically and inorganically.”

Dynasty Financial Partners advised the Icon team on its transition and will continue to provide assistance with technology, operations, investments and branding, the company said.

Icon becomes one of the largest financial advisories in Texas and the partners plan to recruit additional breakaways into the firm, according to Dynasty CEO Shirl Penney.

Icon also announced that it is working with Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, Black Diamond and Callan.

The partners will serve a clientele of high-net-worth individuals, business owners and professionals, with particular expertise in working with law partners, according to Icon.

“We plan to build upon our successful program working with attorneys and their firms, helping them plan for the specific financial challenges they face,” said Pratz in a released statement. “As an independent firm, we can now offer them customized services and personalized financial plans.”

Wirehouse advisers with $750M in combined AUM go indie with Dynasty

By Tobias Salinger

View Original Article — OnWallStreet

Three wirehouse advisers managing $750 million in combined client assets broke away to launch their own firm with help from Dynasty Financial Partners, according to the company.

Mark McAdams, Blake Pratz, and Steve Schwarzbach opened Icon Wealth Partners last week after more than two years of considering the move, Pratz says. The Houston-based firm makes 40 in Dynasty’s network, double the number of rival HighTower, which also recently added recruits in an increasingly heated competition between the two for RIA business.

“We’ve been following this independent space for several years and doing due diligence,” Pratz says. “So the timing was right. The evolution of this business moving towards the independent space is growing.”

Icon reported $261.8 million in assets under management, with 26 to 100 clients and 877 accounts, in its first SEC disclosure last week.

The founding partners met over 20 years ago when they all worked at Smith Barney, according to Pratz. He specializes in working with both individual attorneys and law firms, while McAdams and Schwarzbach focus on ultrahigh-net-worth clients.

The three Icon founding partners wanted to embrace fiduciary standards in a way, Pratz says, they couldn’t at their wirehouse posts. Pratz had worked five years at UBS, while McAdams and Schwarzbach led a high-net-worth team at Morgan Stanley.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley confirmed the move but declined to comment. A spokeswoman for UBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Icon marks Dynasty’s third breakaway team in the past two months.

Dynasty increased its footprint as well. A Morgan Stanley adviser managing $600 million used its platform to form his own company earlier this week. An adviser formerly at investment bank Robertson Stephens also started his own firm with Dynasty last month.

Pratz says going with Dynasty was “an easy decision” for him and the other Icon founding partners.

“Dynasty far and away was the leader in this space,” Pratz says. “We could not ask for better partners now and going forward. So we’re excited for the journey with these guys.”

Pratz began his advisory career in 1984 at Dean Witter, eventually working at both Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

McAdams broke into the industry in 1993 with Citigroup and worked at Morgan Stanley for seven years. Schwarzbach worked a similar amount of time for Morgan before leaving.

Additionally, Icon hired Cindy Pickett and Jennifer Moore from UBS and Annette Latigue from Morgan Stanley to its client relationship team. Ricardo Mihaly, another onetime Morgan hand, serves as senior director of planning and investments.

“We are honored to welcome Blake, Mark and Steve along with their team to the Dynasty community,” CEO Shirl Penney said in a statement. “Icon Wealth Partners immediately becomes one of the largest financial advisory firms in Texas with the intent to attract seasoned, like-minded advisers seeking independence.”

Breakaway UBS, Morgan Stanley teams form $750M RIA

View Original Article — InvestmentNews

Houston-based Icon Wealth Partners affiliates with Dynasty Financial Partners

Advisory teams from Houston offices of UBS and Morgan Stanley that collectively managed $750 million have formed Icon Wealth Partners and affiliated with Dynasty Financial Partners.

The new firm is headed by Mark McAdams and Steve Schwarzbach, who came from Morgan Stanley, and Blake Pratz, who was with UBS. Their teams also joined them at the new firm, which is a registered investment adviser, according to a release from Dynasty.

In addition to affiliating with New York-based Dynasty, which provides technology and operational support for RIAs, Icon Wealth Partners has formed strategic partnerships with Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, Black Diamond and Callan, the release said.

UBS, Morgan Stanley Teams in Texas Merge into Independence

by Grete Suarez

View Original Article — AdvisorHub

A trio of Houston brokers—two from Morgan Stanley and the third from UBS Financial Services—joined forces last Friday to create Icon Wealth Partners, a registered investment adviser, according to Dynasty Financial Partners, which assisted them with the move.

The Morgan Stanley partners, Mark McAdams and Steve Schwarzbach, had been with the brokerage giant and its Smith Barney predecessor since 1993 and 2008 respectively. Blake Pratz, a 31-year securities industry veteran, left UBS in September to set up the new venture.

“We have known Blake for over 20 years,” Schwarzbach said. “It has to do with a longstanding relationship.”

Pratz, who began his career at Dean Witter Reynolds and Texas regional Rotan Mosle before it was absorbed into PaineWebber, worked at Smith Barney for 15 years in the same period that McAdams was there, according to their BrokerCheck histories.

Icon, whose partners were managing about $750 million of client assets, “immediately becomes one of the largest financial advisory firms in Texas with the intent to attract seasoned, like-minded advisors seeking independence,” Dynasty Chief Executive Shirl Penney said in a prepared statement.

The firm targets high net worth individuals, business owners and professionals, with an emphasis on lawyers and their firms, according to the statement. Though the business is primarily fee-based, both Pratz and Schwarzbach are registered to do brokerage business through independent broker-dealer Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, according to Finra’s BrokerCheck database.

Pratz and McAdams said they were eager to link up to ensure continuity for their clients. “Succession is a big part of this business,” McAdams said. “I wouldn’t trust our clients with anyone else but these guys.”

Neither he nor his partners were explicit about their reasons for ending their extended wirehouse careers.

“The drive for independence is less about the previous model we operated in, and more about running our own firm,” Schwarzbach said. “We maintain great relationships with our previous firms.”

In addition to the partners, Icon includes client relationship managers Cindy Pickett and Jennifer Moore, who were at UBS with Pratz, and Annette Latigue from Morgan Stanley. The team also includes Ricardo Mihaly, who joined from MSI Financial Services, who is senior director of planning and investments.