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Ex-Merrill Lynch Advisors Launch Indie on Dynasty

August 11, 2017

A group of former Merrill Lynch advisors and employees have launched a new independent firm partnering with Dynasty Financial Partners, PennLive writes.

Avantra Family Wealth, based in Silver Spring Township, Penn., was founded by Frank Collins Jr. and Kim Lee Kenawell-Hoffecker, according to the web publication. Collins had been with Merrill Lynch from 1978 to 2015, PennLive writes, while Kenawell-Hoffecker had been with the wirehouse from 1996 until this year, according to BrokerCheck.

Six of Avantra’s seven other employees had all worked previously at Merrill Lynch as well, and the four advisors on the team had managed $250 million at the wirehouse, the firm tells PennLive. Avantra focuses on financial and retirement planning and offers healthcare cost planning and life and long-term care insurance, according to the web publication. The new indie will use Dynasty’s technology platform, according to PennLive.

Collins tells the web publication that he’s been looking to go independent for some time, holding more than 200 meetings in the course of 19 months.

He also tells PennLive that going independent lets his team better serve their clients. Avantra’s services include a concierge for travel planning and large purchases, and divorce advice from Kenawell-Hoffecker, who’s a certified divorce financial analyst, the web publication writes. Neither of these services is something he could have provided at a bigger brokerage, Collins tells PennLive. And while Avantra currently partners with accountants and lawyers, Colllins’ goal is to to turn the firm into a family office that would include such professionals on staff, according to the web publication.


Several advisors have recently jumped ship from their large brokerages to get on the Dynasty Network. In July, a team of Merrill Lynch advisors managing $1 billion left the firm to form a new indie practice that’s using Dynasty’s platform. Later that month, a trio of Wells Fargo Advisors reps launched Towerpoint Wealth, using Dynasty Financial Partners for analytics and operations support.

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