A Wells Fargo team that oversaw more than $190 million in client assets left the wirehouse to go independent with Triad Advisors, spokesman confirmed.

The team, known as Head Investment Partners, is based in Knoxville, Tenn., and is affiliated with Triad Advisors and Triad Hybrid Solutions. The group includes Daniel Head, Brian Dickey, Steven Witt and Barbara Million.

Triad Hybrid Solutions now has an opportunity to work with advisers who are looking to go independent but need support to do so, particularly in light of regulatory changes, says Michael Bryan, the firm’s CEO.

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"It's just not as much fun to build your own RIA as it used to be," Bryan says.

Advisers face mounting challenges in staying abreast of regulatory changes and new technologies, he says. "That's exactly what Triad was built for – to provide that regulatory and technological guidance."

Triad Advisors, an independent broker-dealer based in Norcross, Ga., and owned by Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, had more than 600 advisers and almost $24 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2015.

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Head is a veteran adviser, having started his career at PaineWebber in 1981, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He later worked for Dean Witter and UBS before joining Wells Fargo in 2008.

Million started her career at Merrill Lynch in 2000, per BrokerCheck records. Witt also began his career at Merrill in 2009. They moved to Wells Fargo in 2012. Dickey started his career at Prudential Securities in 1998. He later worked at UBS before moving with Head to Wells Fargo in 2008.

Frank LaRosa, CEO of Elite Consulting Partners, a Moorestown, N.J.-based recruiting and consulting firm, says Head and his team members did a lot of due diligence.

"This team probably spent the better part of a year-and-a-half doing research on platforms," says LaRosa, who was involved in the move.

(Bloomberg News)
(Bloomberg News)

He says that advisers are sometimes shocked to learn how much better their payouts can be than at the wirehouses. He adds that regulatory changes are also affecting advisers' career changes.

"It's just not as much fun to build your own RIA as it used to be" –Michael Bryan, CEO of Triad Hybrid Solutions.

"Advisers are looking at mid-large size indie firms that they feel will be able to deal with the impact on increased costs for regulations and also the potential loss of revenue from products with 12b-1 fees and larger upfront fees like annuities," LaRosa says.

A spokeswoman for the wirehouse confirmed the team left on July 29, but declined to comment further.

Bryan says Triad wants to work with more advisers like Head and his team.

"We are looking for advisers who are growing their business and who appreciate the value of partnership," he says.