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Ex-Merrill Lynch Exec Crafts RIA Escape Plans

January 15, 2016

Matt Sonnen, a former senior executive at several wealth management firms, has set up a consulting business to assist large breakaway teams set up shop and assist RIAs in expanding, ThinkAdvisor writes.

PFI (“Pure Financial Independence”) Advisors will provide teams intent on going independent with customized RIA infrastructure as well as administrative support in billing setup and processing and hands-on transition help, according to the publication.

Sonnen, a vet of Merrill Lynch, Luminous Capital and Focus Financial Partners, says he sees an opportunity because many large teams end up staying put or moving to platforms that are too expensive due to the complexity and uncertainty involved in a large team going independent, according to ThinkAdvisor.

PFI will also help existing RIAs with technology selection and conversions, new offices and integration of newly acquired businesses, according to the website.

Sonnen has teamed up with his wife, Larissa Sonnen, to launch the company, according to the web publication. He worked at Merrill Lynch until 2005, leaving to help build Luminous Capital, where he served as COO and head of compliance until it was sold in 2012 to First Republic Bank for more than $100 million; afterward he worked at Focus Financial helping breakaway teams and new RIAs, ThinkAdvisor writes.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.