Industry Moves

Three FAs Join Forces to Align with LPL Affiliate

Three former rivals have joined forces for a new financial advisor team affiliated with LPL Financial, the company says.

Shawn Walton, Debbie Hawksworth and Richard Coloni come together from Cambridge Investment Research, Edward Jones and Cetera Advisors, respectively, according to a press release from LPL.

The trio — which collectively managed around $100 million — joins LPL’s broker-dealer and corporate RIA platforms, aligning with Synergy Wealth Alliance, an existing LPL firm.

The three advisors “had what they called a friendly rivalry prior to their new partnership” but had been friends for years after meeting at a country club north of Orlando, Fla., according to the press release. Walton and Coloni began discussing joining practices for succession planning purposes and Hawksworth, who wanted to go independent, quickly joined the conversation, LPL says.

“We want to grow organically but also through business acquisitions, and we know Synergy and LPL have resources to help guide us through that process,” Walton says in the press release.

LPL Financial recently took steps aimed at ensuring that its network of financial advisors can safely maintain operations in light of restrictions imposed locally to stop the spread of the coronavirus. While LPL restricted access to its office locations, it has also extended home office hours to support advisors. LPL has also discontinued all business travel and implemented new restrictions on personal travel.

Steward Partners Names New England Divisional President

Steward Partners has hired a former executive at UBS and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to lead its New England division.

Troy Erickson joins Steward Partners, the employee-owned independent partnership associated with Raymond James Financial Services, as divisional president for the region, according to a press release from Steward Partners.

Erickson will oversee the development of New England markets, including Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, as well as future locations planned for 2020, the company says.

Erickson joins Steward Partners from Erickson Metals, where he'd served as president since 2017 and was a member of the board of directors for more than two decades, according to the press release. Before the metals company, Erickson worked as an executive director at UBS Financial Services, which he had joined after a stint as a senior vice president and branch manager for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Steward Partners says.

Erickson had formed relationships with several Steward Partners board members who had been at Smith Barney, according to the press release.

“Steward Partners has experienced rapid growth over the last few years, which has been amazing to see,” Erickson says in the press release. “The firm continues to attract some of the best advisors in the business, and I believe that reflects how strongly Steward’s vision for the future of wealth management resonates with today’s top practitioners. I’m excited to join the team and look forward to contributing to the growth of the New England market.”

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Finra Hires Ex-FBI Agent for New Crimes Detection Unit

Finra has hired a former FBI special agent to its new National Cause and Financial Crimes Detection Programs unit.

Greg Ruppert joins the unit as an executive vice president, filling a new role Finra created when Cameron Funkhouser retired at the end of last year as head of its Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, according to a press release from the industry’s self-regulator.

The new department includes a consolidated National Cause Program, the Office of the Whistleblower and Tip Program, the Fraud Surveillance unit, Insider Trading and private investment and public equity surveillance unit, specialist teams for anti-money laundering and cybersecurity and the securities hotline for seniors, Finra says.

Before joining Finra, Ruppert served as senior vice president and chief of the Financial Crimes Risk Management Group at Charles Schwab, where he was the company’s Bank Secrecy Act officer and managed several other programs, including anti-money laundering, cybercrime and internal investigations, according to the press release.

Prior to his work at Schwab, Ruppert was a special agent with the FBI for 17 years, working on complex financial investigations, terrorist financing and cyberthreats, Finra says.