Breakaway broker happy to be off the Street

Doyle leaves wirehouse world to start indie RIA; 'every Wall Street firm 'has its problems'

Nov 11, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

By Andrew Osterland

Another Wall Street breakaway broker is pleased to be out on his own.

Britt Doyle left his job as an adviser in a San Francisco office with UBS Financial Services Inc. last week and launched independent RIA Gordian Wealth Advisors. The 23-year Wall Street veteran has seen his share of turmoil in the wirehouses, previously working for Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.

“Every firm on Wall Street has its problems,” Mr. Doyle said. “I'm really glad that I don't have to defend them anymore.”

Mr. Doyle is partnering with Elliot Elbaz, who formerly worked with institutional clients at investment bank FBR & Co. Mr. Elbaz started his career with Soros Fund Management LLC and Bain & Co. The pair currently manage about $250 million for 26 families. The firm announced yesterday that it was using Sanctuary Wealth Services LLC for business support and consulting services.

A key client target for the firm is wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives — many of whom are not big fans of Wall Street firms, according to Mr. Doyle. “I think based on what they've seen from 2000 onwards, the Silicon Valley crowd has an inherent distrust of big firms,” he said.

Gordian is the sixth firm that Sanctuary now supports with investment solutions, compliance resources, marketing and back-office services. Sanctuary CEO Jeff Spears is hopeful that as retention packages for wirehouse advisers wind down, there soon could be a flood of experienced advisers deciding to go independent and needing help to do so.

“I want to believe we're reaching a tipping point where talented people on Wall Street decide that it is no longer the place for them,” said Mr. Spears. “Our pipeline of ongoing conversations with them has never been larger.”

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