Securities America enters hybrid advisory arena

Firm teams with RIA United Advisors and former Morgan Stanley executive

By Carl O'Donnell

Feb 6, 2014 @ 2:33 pm (Updated 3:29 pm) EST

Securities America, Morgan Stanley, hybrid brokers

Securities America Inc. and registered investment adviser United Advisors Wealth Management are teaming up with former Morgan Stanley vice president Kevin Hughes in an initiative to adopt the increasingly popular hybrid wealth advisory business model.

The new business model will allow financial advisers to serve clients as independent RIAs while maintaining a relationship with a broker-dealer, including access to office space as well as investment products and services.

“We’re incorporating all the benefits of the independent space where a rep or adviser owns his or her client, doesn’t have proprietary product pressures and isn’t forced to do business with a certain criteria or clients, and we’re blending that with an office space and some management involvement,” said Gregg Johnson, senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions for Securities America.

Mr. Hughes, who has more than 20 years of experience on Wall Street, will spearhead the transition. Prior to his stint at Morgan Stanley, he worked at Smith Barney.

Securities America is the 11th-largest broker-dealer in the country, with annual revenue of $400 million, InvestmentNews data show.