$1.2B advisor quits UBS, goes indie with Dynasty's backing

Cyndeo CEO Matt Kilgroe
Cyndeo CEO Matt Kilgroe
Register now

A former UBS advisor who oversaw $1.2 billion in client assets left the wirehouse to launch his own firm: Cyndeo Wealth Management.

Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cyndeo has clients in nearly 40 states, according to a statement by Dynasty Financial Partners, who is partnering with the firm. Cyndeo’s clients include executives, business owners, land owners and professional athletes.

In an interview, Matt Kilgroe, founder and CEO of the new firm, said his reasoning for going independent was twofold.

On the client side, he said, his team noticed they were becoming more constrained in the range of advice and counsel they could give due to being at a wirehouse.

“We couldn’t help a client with an outside 401(k), or an athlete with a private deal since they weren’t custodied [at UBS],” Kilgroe explained. “In the independent world, we have the freedom to do that.”

On the team side, Kilgroe says he took the long view. “We have a lot of good, young people on our team and wanted to have more control over succession and passing on client relationships.”

He also cited industrywide advances in technology, such as data aggregation and financial modeling. “It’s like night and day. Technology changes so much, and the big firms just can’t move as fast.”

Ironically, Kilgroe had considered going independent in 2012, but moved his team to UBS because of its state-of-the-art technology.

Cyndeo, whose name comes from the Greek word “syndeo” or “connect,” uses Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions as its custodian.

Moving forward, Kilgroe is considering adding new advisors from other parts of Florida. “Maybe they’ll be from the Tampa Bay area, or maybe it’ll be senior advisors from up north looking for a lifestyle change,” he says.

Kilgroe has 29 years of industry experience, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. He spent 20 years at Merrill Lynch before joining UBS for eight years. He has been consistently recognized by Barron’s, either as a Top 1000 or Top 1200 Advisor, since 2009. In 2020, Forbes named him to their “Best In-State Wealth Advisor” list.

The move is an example of UBS’s shrinking headcount in recent months. The Swiss bank’s May earnings report showed headcount at around 6,400 for its Americas business, down from 8,700 in the first quarter of 2009.

A UBS spokesperson declined to comment.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Career moves UBS Wealth Management Going independent RIAs Recruiting
MORE FROM FINANCIAL PLANNING