Northstar Wealth Partners, the largest LPL Financial-affiliated wealth management firm in Connecticut, has nearly doubled its assets under management to just under $2 billion -- by recruiting two advisors formerly with Essex Financial Services in Essex, Conn.

“They chose to affiliate with us due to our structure and because of our affiliation with LPL,” says Northstar cofounder Brandon Marinelli. “They are getting full-service support, as they are accustomed to.”

Essex Savings Bank owns Essex Financial. The two advisors worked in an environment similar to that of a wirehouse, according to Marinelli.

Tyler Potts and J. Addison McAraw, formerly of Essex, are currently working out of Northstar’s offices in West Hartford while their new Northstar office is being built in Old Saybrook -- not far from their former Essex location. McAraw spent most of his career at Essex while Potts previously worked for Fidelity, Marinelli says.

The LPL affiliation helped seal the deal with the Essex team, he adds: The giant B-D's “reputation for independence and self clearing ... helped solidify the acquisition.”


Northstar’s structure also played a role, Marinelli adds. “We are set up as a revenue-sharing firm versus a revenue-generating firm,” he explains. “As the founding partners, we are active producers. Most places you go to work, you’ve got some disconnected hierarchy.”

As a result, Northstar tends to attract seasoned advisors with sizable practices, Marinelli says.

“Nobody starts at Northstar,” he says of the 11-year-old firm. “It’s more of a place where successful advisors come to further their practices.”

In addition to its West Hartford headquarters and the planned office in Old Saybrook, Northstar also has Connecticut offices in Glastonbury, Middletown, Westport and North Haven.

Northstar anticipates bringing on more advisors in the future, Marinelli says.

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