Two former Wells Fargo Advisors who had each spent around a quarter century with the wirehouse have left to join an independent broker-dealer based in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Sean Newman and Jonathan Allen joined Alden Investment Group one week ago in Doylestown, about 30 miles from the firm’s headquarters, according to registration records. Newman had generated around $1.5 million in revenue from $400 million in assets while Allen had generated around $775,000 in fees from $185 million in assets, according to Chris Coloracci, head of Alden’s private client group.

The two brokers are not on a team but had been close friends and colleagues for many years, Coloracci said. Newman had introduced Allen to Coloracci as he was planning his own move, according to the executive.

Alden’s wealth unit has 44 brokers and will have $2.5 billion in client assets if all of Newman and Allen’s assets transfer, Coloracci said.

“This is really big for us,” Coloracci said, noting he hopes that Alden can hit $3 billion in assets by the end of the year.

Alden, which also operates a turnkey asset management platform, was launched in 1995 and purchased in 2018 by Lee Calfo, a fund manager who has founded three advisory firms. Coloracci said Alden is looking to jumpstart recruiting after it received capital in October from Castle Creek Launchpad, a venture fund backed by 34 community banks.

The dollar amount of Castle Creek’s investment in the broker-dealer was not disclosed, but it owns between 10% and 25%, according to BrokerCheck records.

Newman and Allen were granted equity in Alden as part of their recruiting offers, according to Coloracci, who himself worked at Wells as a market manager between 2003 and 2010. He declined to provide specifics, but said that he had been working for about two years to convince them to make their move.

Coloracci said the two were also convinced to join Alden because it is able to add them to the group healthcare plan even though they are independent contractors. They also were frustrated by some of the bureaucracy of a large firm and did not want to remain at Wells, he said.

Wells, for example, had denied his request to label his practice Allen Wealth Management, or another configuration using his surname, because it conflicted with other Wells practices, Coloracci said.

Wells has been seeking to stop potential breakaways by making it easier for private client group brokers to shift to its independent Financial Network channel. Wells CEO Charles W. Scharf reiterated that strategy when he told an audience at an industry conference this week that fear of “cannibalizing” its own business was short-term thinking.

“More advisors want to control their own destiny. They want to employ themselves. They want to feel like they own the value in their franchise,” Scharf said at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference, according to an AlphaSense transcript. “You’ve got to be very realistic about what the direction of movement is.”

Original Post Source: AdvisorHub

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