Innovation Equity Partners Financial, a newly created hybrid platform, announced today that it was bringing on board RMR Wealth Builders Inc., an independent planning firm based in Teaneck, N.J.
RMR manages $1 billion in clients assets for high-net-worth families, foundations and corporations, IEP said in a release.
RMR has been affiliated with Financial Network Investment Corp. for 25 years. FNIC has changed ownership a number of times and is now part of Cetera Financial Group.
"It was impossible to keep the status quo," said Stuart Miller, RMR president, in an interview. "We did not have a partnership with Cetera. They are oriented to sell [the firm] in three years. That's not where we wanted to go."
"We’re disappointed that some advisors from RMR Wealth Builders have decided to leave the Financial Network and Cetera family, but we wish them every success," said Cetera spokeswoman Shayna Inman. "We remain committed to helping the growth of those staying at Financial Network.”
Joseph Russo, RMR managing partner, said the firm's managers were proud of the FNIC affiliation through all of its iterations. "But we wanted a relationship that can thrive through changes," he explained.
Other independent broker-dealers are "generic, with 5,000 or 10,000 reps," Mr. Russo added. "What they're offering is what they offer everyone else."
Mr. Russo and Mr. Miller said they found what the wanted at IEP.
Through its broker-dealer, Calton & Associates, Inc., IEP offers a hybrid platform and outsourcing services like human resources, technology, compliance, succession planning, insurance services and marketing programs for independents.
"It's a modern day co-op for all intents and purposes," said Keith Gregg, chief executive of IEP.
Mr. Gregg, former president and CEO of First Allied Securities, recently bought Calton and launched IEP Financial with other broker-dealer veterans John Simmers, Scott Sherwood, Dwayne Calton, Randy Ciccati and Ramu Singh.
Mr. Miller and Mr. Simmers have known each other for 25 years. Mr. Simmers formerly ran FNIC and also served as chairman and chief executive of ING Advisors Network, which has since been rebranded as Cetera.
Calton & Associates serves more than 250 advisers who handle about $3 billion for clients.