Advisers with $270M jump to Steward Partners, citing better tech

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“Phenomenal” technology was one of the reasons three advisers managing more than $270 million in client assets left Wells Fargo and Janney Montgomery Scott to join Steward Partners, an independent firm affiliated with Raymond James.

They are the latest to join the independent firm, which has been adding new offices and teams, many from wirehouses. Earlier this year, the Washington-based firm opened its 10th office in Boston.

Steward Partners' new hires cited the firm's technology and backing from Raymond James as key reasons for making the move.

"The technology, to me, was phenomenal. A real upgrade," says adviser Steven Libov, who previously worked at Janney's office in New York.

Libov had spent 17 of his 27 years in the business with Janney Montgomery Scott, according FINRA BrokerCheck records. While at Janney, he oversaw $92 million in client assets, according to his new firm. Libov says he's long emphasized financial planning as part of his practice, and primarily serves families.

A spokeswoman for Janney Montgomery Scott could not be reached for immediate comment.

Libov considered several options as a new home for his practice, but his final decision wasn't hard.

"There's always a gut feeling in addition to all the research that you do. This just felt right to me from the beginning," Libov says.

Steward Partners' other new hires are a father-son team: Paul and Jeremy Staadeker, who are based in Washington and previously managed $175 million in client assets while at Wells Fargo, according to a spokesman.

"We were looking for a place that was flexible enough to allow us to design solutions that our clients will need for the next 20 years, and we think that place is Steward," says Jeremy Staadeker.

Like Libov, Staadeker says the technology and affiliation with Raymond James appealed to him.

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo declined to comment on the team's departure.

The father-son duo primarily serves wealthy individuals and small business owners, Staadeker says.

He's worked with his father since joining Wells Fargo seven years ago; his father has been an adviser since 1983, when he got his start at Lehman Brothers.

That lengthy career has translated into equally long client relationships.

"We've had a lot of conversations reminiscing about 20- or 30-year relationships," the younger Staadeker says, while waiting to catch a flight to a client meeting in Portland, Maine.

"I'm basically on a one-month road tour to sit down with all of our clients," he says.

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