$900 million UBS breakaway team forms new firm, joins Dynasty

Jonathan Blau founds Fusion Family Wealth with four team members

Nov 12, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

By Joyce Hanson

A team of five UBS AG advisers said Tuesday that they have left the wirehouse brokerage firm to form an independent investment advisory firm, Fusion Family Wealth, and have joined Dynasty Financial Partners' platform of wealth management services and technology.

Led by firm founder Jonathan Blau, a former UBS senior vice president, Fusion's team members started their new firm over the Veterans Day holiday after exiting UBS last week.

The $900 million wealth management team has already spoken to many clients, and they are “favorably inclined” toward moving to the new firm from UBS, Mr. Blau said.

(Advisers still leaving wirehouses but there's no exodus)

He declined, however, to characterize Fusion's team as breakaway brokers.

“I like to consider myself an independent registered investment adviser,” Mr. Blau said.

“I wasn't running from something,” he said. “I was running to something.”

With offices in both New York and on Long Island, Fusion Family Wealth comprises Mr. Blau, along with managing director Harvey Radler, senior wealth advisers Jeffrey Blick and Joel Bodner, and senior client service specialist James Cloudman. All are joining from UBS.

Although the new firm is in its “nascent stages,” the five UBS team members, who had worked together for the past 10 years, “always had an eye toward adopting an independent model,” Mr. Blau said.

(Track the latest in recruiting from InvestmentNews' Advisers on the Move database)

Fusion's professionals want to offer a high legal and fiduciary standard, which is why they were attracted to Dynasty's open-architecture platform, he said.

The partnership lets Fusion work with large accounting and law firms and thus handle a wide range of client needs using Dynasty's customized platform. The platform includes proprietary research from Callan Associates and Wilshire Associates as well as Envestnet's portfolio tools and reporting technology.

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services will provide clearing and custody services.

In starting up Fusion, Mr. Blau looks forward to using behavioral finance when working with clients.

Research shows that emotion and psychology adversely influence investor's financial decisions, he said, pointing to such maxims as “sell in May and go away,” which can prevent clients from achieving their goals.

“I work with my clients on viewing investing from a more rational perspective,” Mr. Blau said.

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