Ex-Merrill execs hope to get mileage out of hybrid model

Mooney, Morris launch Snowden Capital Advisors; counting on word of mouth to attract advisers

Apr 13, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

By Dan Jamieson

Two former Merrill Lynch executives have launched a new hybrid firm, New York-based Snowden Capital Advisors LLC.

Co-founders Rob Mooney and John Morris hope to attract higher-end adviser teams who hear about the startup by word of mouth. “We have had quite a number of advisers contacting us directly at this point,” Mr. Mooney said. “We do not employ recruiters.”

Mr. Mooney formerly was the head of business risk management for Merrill's retail business, and Mr. Morris served at Merrill in a variety of roles, including as chairman of the Latin America region for its private-client group.

The firm is not targeting Merrill or anyone else specifically for recruits, Mr. Mooney said.

“We have extensive contacts that are well-dispersed across the industry,” Mr. Mooney said.

The firm expects to land its first advisers this year. “We're not setting targets” for number of advisers, Mr. Mooney said, but Snowden wants to attract professionals who typically deal with $1 million and larger households.

The firm has both an registered investment adviser and a newly approved broker-dealer.

“We're using the hybrid structure, but with an employee model,” Mr. Morris said.

Advisers will have an opportunity to be owners of the company, he said.

Running an employee model can give the firm a competitive advantage, Mr. Morris said.

“There's probably less choices [among work platforms] available if you want to … represent [a single] brand and build your business around it,” he said. “So we do see that as one differentiating feature” of the company, Mr. Morris said.

The men hope to recreate some of the traditional partnership culture that Wall Street seemingly lost as the major brokerage firms went public.

“We think times are right to bring some of that back, but to match it up with some of technology that vendors can provide, with what custodians can provide, and the [opportunities] to provide open architecture,” Mr. Morris said.

Snowden will custody assets with Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co. Inc. and Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC.

The name Snowden derives from the name of the street that connects the two men's homes in Princeton, N.J. — the same homes where they grew up and first knew each other in kindergarten.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

3 Questions to ask yourself when making your succession plan

Michael Futterman from Janus Henderson Investors has sage advice for advisers as they approach retirement.

Latest news & opinion

Morgan Stanley CEO is happy that brokers are staying put

Firm has seen little attrition since it dumped the broker protocol last fall, Gorman says.

Bills to reform adviser regulation, increase sophisticated investors and protect seniors pass House

Measures included in package of 32 bipartisan bills meant to ease rules, spur investment

Genstar Capital buys majority stake in Cetera Financial Group

The private-equity firm has previously invested in such companies as Mercer Advisors and AssetMark.

Cetera Financial Group close to announcing its acquisition by private equity

Details of sale to one or more P-E firms could be announced as early as today.

10 best states for retirement

When it comes to places to retire, here are the 10 best states for enjoying your golden years.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print