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Reverse breakaway: $172M advisors quit RIA for Ameriprise

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The independence movement often leads from brokerages to RIAs, but two advisors bolted an RIA to launch their own practice with Ameriprise.

Jack Elgin and Neven Zelich, who have about $172 million in assets under management, joined Ameriprise’s franchise channel after seven years with Mid Atlantic Financial Management, their new firm announced this week. The Canton, Ohio-based partners brought three other staff members with them.
Ameriprise has increased its ranks by 143 advisors to 9,890 in the past 12 months, thanks to its acquisition of Investment Professionals in July. Without the acquisition, headcount would have declined by 72 advisors.

The firm remains active in recruiting, though. Earlier this week, Ameriprise grabbed a $369 million team from Wells Fargo. Prior to that, the firm added a team of sisters from Raymond James who oversaw $141 million.

Independent and regional firms have been maintaining strong appeal with new recruits.
October 3

Zelich and Elgin said the fiduciary rule and the challenges of technology resulted in Ameriprise’s latest addition.

“The regulatory environment was a catalyst that caused us to evaluate how we manage our business,” Elgin said in a statement. “In particular we like Ameriprise’s digital capabilities for clients. For our team, the technology will improve office efficiency in administrative tasks, and the regional team support we receive is key in helping us grow our business.”

Mid Atlantic did not return a request for comment.

Mid Atlantic has around 100 advisors and oversees $1.87 billion in assets under management, according to its latest Form ADV. The Pittsburgh-based firm's parent, Mid Atlantic Capital Group, launched as a broker-dealer in 1982 before starting the RIA and branching into asset management, insurance and other areas, according to its website.

Zelich brings 28 years of experience, having worked for six at UBS and over a decade at Merrill Lynch prior to joining Mid Atlantic in 2010, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Zelich, who started his career in 1988 at Merrill Lynch, also spent six years at UBS before their seven-year Mid Atlantic tenures.

Paraplanner Lindsay Boyce, client service assistant Jared VanGuilder and administrative assistant Amy Nagy followed Elgin and Zelich in moving to Ameriprise. The team reports to franchise field president Bill Cupach.

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