Ron Carson loses three longtime advisers

Veterans of Carson Wealth Management — Steve Wilbur, Tad Singer and Phil McBride — all departed recently

Oct 3, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

By Mason Braswell

Three longtime veterans of the Carson Wealth Management Group, one of LPL Financial's highest-grossing firms, with about $4.3 billion under management, left to join other firms in recent weeks.

Tad Singer, who had been with Carson Wealth for 16 years — the majority of his career — went to another independent broker-dealer and investment adviser, Smith Hayes Cos. His colleague, Steven Wilbur, a 14-year veteran of founder Ron Carson's firm, also moved to Smith Hayes, which is based in Omaha, Neb., and has about $2 billion in advisory assets under management, according to filings.

Phil McBride, who previously managed about $110 million and had been at Carson Wealth's Omaha office since 2009, departed for another investment adviser, Allen Capital Group. It has about $235 million in advisory assets, according to president Mark Allen.

Mr. McBride left on Sept. 16. The others exited around the same time, Mr. McBride said, adding that he had not coordinated his move with them.

Mr. Singer and Mr. Wilbur could not be reached for comment, but all three were “definitely some of the top advisers,” at Carson Wealth, Mr. McBride said. Carson Wealth has about 45 registered brokers and investment advisers, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Calls to Mr. Singer and Mr. Wilbur were returned by Teresa O'Grady, a compliance officer at Smith Hayes, who declined to comment.

In an e-mailed statement, Minna Burns, a spokeswoman for Carson Wealth, said it is still “dedicated to stakeholders that share our same vision and will continue to value each member of the team as we add industry expertise.”

Ms. Burns would not comment on the specific departures.

Mr. McBride said he was introduced to Allen Capital through a mutual friend with Mr. Allen, who wanted him to help oversee expansion efforts, including the separate acquisition of a new office in western Nebraska.

Mr. McBride said the move would allow him to be closer to his family. “I obviously respect Mark," he added. "He's a great adviser, and I could tell he'd be somebody that I wanted to work with for the rest of my career.”

He declined to comment on the split with Carson Wealth.

Mr. Allen said he did not want to make any further comment on Mr. McBride's move because he did not want to interfere with “nonadversarial conversations” ongoing between Mr. McBride and Mr. Carson's firm.

Three days after the original story was published, Carson Wealth Management announced it had hired two industry veterans to fill new executive positions. The firm brought on Rob Furlong, formerly with GARP Research Corp., to serve in the research department as co-portfolio manager under the firm’s director of research, Brett Carson.

Carson Wealth also added a new vice president of operations, Dan Tobin, who was with Voya Financial Advisors Inc. (formerly known as ING U.S. Inc.).

“We’re bringing people in, and we’re only moving forward with people who share our interest in putting the clients’ interest ahead of our own,” Mr. Carson said later of the hires.

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