Advisers on the Move

Securities America lands $225M firm

Oct 1, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

By Darla Mercado

Securities America Inc. has picked up Verus Capital Partners LLC, a Scottsdale, Ariz., firm with $225 million in assets and 20 advisers.

“I found that I liked the size of Securities America, and they seemed a better fit for where I see my firm going,” said Steve Bull, Verus' branch manager.

Mr. Bull, who founded Verus in August, said he was also drawn to Securities America because its compliance office is comfortable with Verus' hybrid model.

Previously, he was an adviser at Next Financial Group.

Mr. Bull said he expected to bring on eight to 10 new advisers each year, and that the firm now is in talks with seven to 10 potential recruits. About half of the new recruits hail from the independent-broker-dealer channel and the other half comes from wirehouses.

Mr. Bull's practice specializes in working with retirees and pre-retirees, as well as managing money for other financial advisers.

“We stay away from mutual funds and third-party managers, but we may use some exchange-traded funds to hedge in the portfolios,” he said. “In our market place, that sets us apart.”

At the moment, the firm is adding to its S&P 500 short position, expecting an 8% to 10% correction by the end of the year. “We tend to be value style, and it's harder to find value now,” Mr. Bull said. “We're pulling a little off the table and increasing our hedge.”

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