The latest expansion by Steward Partners Global Advisory moves six Morgan Stanley reps and nearly $700 million across the street in Clearwater, Florida to Steward's first office outside the Northeastern U.S market.
The moves, involving three separate teams from the same Morgan Stanley office, have been in the works for more than a year, according to Jim Gold, founding partner and chief executive of Steward Partners.
The transferring reps, each claiming to bring with them the majority of the clients, pushes Steward Partners' total assets to nearly $6 billion with more than 40 advisers and 90 total partners.
In a little over three years, Steward Partners has established offices in New Hampshire, New York, Albany, Washington, D.C., and Andover, Mass.
But the Clearwater office is especially unique for its proximity to Tampa-based Raymond James Financial Services.
Steward Partners is structured as an employee-owned independent partnership associated with Raymond James for platform and technology support services.
"Eventually, we plan on having 13 or more advisers in our Clearwater office," Mr. Gold said.
The teams moving over from Morgan Stanley include Frank Hibbard and Amy Rosa, with $140 million under advisement; Angela Helmus-O'Brien, Travis Hadwin and Todd Seymour, advising on $270 million, and Todd Hoffman, advising on $280 million.
Mr. Gold described the months-long negotiation and transition process as involving "three separate conversations, simultaneously."
Each former rep had spent between nine and 15 years at Morgan Stanley.
"We wanted to get away from the big wirehouse mentality to a place where more of the decision making about servicing clients is more locally driven," said Mr. Hadwin, who has been in the business for 26 years, including 10 a Morgan Stanley.
"My clients here in Florida have different needs than clients in New York," he added.
Mr. Hoffman, who spent 15 years with Morgan Stanley, and 10 years with Smith Barney before that, said he was attracted to the technology and service model, but succession planning was also a factor.
"I don't expect to retire for another 12 or 15 years, but I need to build out my team so down the road I have some options, and Steward Partners is offering to help me with that," he said. "I want to be with a firm that will support my efforts at gaining scale."
Morgan Stanley did not respond to a request for comment for this article, beyond confirming the rep departures.