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$230M firm aligns with Kestra with eye toward personalized service

Financial advisors Mary Margaret Kastelberg and Troy Flinn decided to affiliate with Kestra Financial because they didn’t want “a broker-dealer for the masses,” Flinn says.

Kestra’s technology, customizable business consulting and home-office communication attracted Alpha Wealth Advisors, according to the 27-year-veteran advisor. Flinn praises Kestra for not taking a one-size-fits-all approach to service.

“We can pick up the phone and call the key people,” Flinn says.

Alpha Wealth Advisors — a Glen Allen, Virginia-based practice with $230 million in client assets — left Cambridge Investment Research for Kestra, the firm said earlier this month. The newly recapitalized firm has two IBDs, a wirehouse breakaway channel, a trust company and an RIA M&A arm under the same family.

Global private equity fund Warburg Pincus acquired a majority stake in Kestra in June, the same month Alpha visited the IBD’s headquarters in Austin, Texas. Kastelberg and Flinn aligned with Kestra the following month, after they had spent a combined 13 years with Cambridge.

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Cambridge spokeswoman Cindy Schaus said in an emailed statement that the firm continues to be “committed to the importance of independence for advisors and their firms, and this includes independent advisors making decisions based on their distinct objectives for their business.”

Flinn also had tenures with LPL and Jefferson Pilot Securities prior to moving to Cambridge in 2011, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Kastelberg became a registered representative with Cambridge in 2014 and serves as the practice’s investment management director. The practice offers specialties in small business retirement plans, investment strategies and asset allocation.

Kastelberg and Flinn also affiliated with Kestra Advisory Services — the firm’s corporate RIA, which listed more than $21 billion in AUM and 81,000 accounts in its most recent SEC Form ADV.

In February, Stone Point Capital agreed to sell its majority stake in Kestra to Warburg, in a deal that reportedly valued the IBD at as much as $800 million. Kestra spans more than 2,300 advisors affiliated with Kestra, Kestra Private Wealth Services or H. Beck.

With Warburg’s backing, Kestra launched an RIA M&A channel in July. The PE firm gave Bluespring Wealth Partners “deep pockets” to acquire practices, provide succession planning services and serve as consultants and coaches, says President Stuart Silverman.

The firm has also made two other major recent recruiting grabs in the past three months. A UBS team with $175 million in client assets broke away to join Kestra Private Wealth Services, a hybrid RIA for ex-wirehouse teams. Kestra also added advisor Michelle Merkel after she had been affiliated with Principal Securities for 26 years and topped $200 million in client assets.

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