$400M team leaves Northwestern Mutual to open RIA with Dynasty

Northwestern Mutual
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A $400 million advisor duo is leaving Northwestern Mutual, where they’ve spent the entirety of their career, to open an RIA.

“We wanted more flexibility and a quicker response time to adjusting our operational technology and our client-facing technology,” said one of the advisors, Michael Leverty, in an email.

This is the first move for Leverty, who started his career at Northwestern Mutual 18 years ago as a college intern, he said. He and fellow advisor Luke Keene, who was at Northwestern Mutual for 12 years, partnered with Dynasty Financial Partners to open up their own firm. There are five other people in their team.

“We knew we would need assistance in making the transition,” Leverty said.

In response to a request for comment on the departure, a Northwestern Mutual spokeswoman said that the company “remains committed to recruiting, developing and retaining advisors interested in comprehensive planning that helps clients achieve financial security through the integration of insurance and investments.”

Leverty’s eponymous firm, Leverty Financial Group, is based in Hudson, Wisconsin, and specializes in retirement planning for corporate executives and their families.

Dynasty, which works with 46 firms, charges a platform fee in exchange for operational and back office support — a cost that is then included in clients’ annual investment management fee, according to the RIA’s Form ADV. Leverty Financial Group will use Dynasty’s TAMP as well, the ADV says.

Dynasty helps RIAs on its platform negotiate terms with custodians, including the business development dollars custodians give to RIAs to pay for services like research and technology.

Wealth management’s conflicted question
Northwestern Mutual’s practices raise difficult questions about the nature of retail advice just as wealth management faces greater scrutiny under new rules.

Some things will stay the same for clients: Leverty Financial Group has chosen Pershing as their custodian — which is also Northwestern Mutual’s clearing firm — according to Leverty. It will also continue to recommend clients’ existing Northwestern Mutual insurance in their overall plan, said Leverty, who noted that the company has a “fantastic insurance product.”

But other aspects of the business, particularly the technology, are changing. The firm is incorporating Black Diamond and eMoney into its tech stack, which Leverty said would allow for better aggregation and allow the team to “get into the weeds” of underlying portfolios with their clients.

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Northwestern Mutual Going independent RIAs Career moves Dynasty Financial Partners