High profile wealth management executive Steve Lockshin is closing another chapter in a long and eventful career, resigning as the chairman of the board of Convergent Wealth Advisors.
The resignation comes in the wake of the apparent suicide in October of David Zier, Convergent's chief executive. Lockshin is being replaced by Richard Gershen, the head of wealth management at Convergent's parent company, Los Angeles-based City National Bank.
Lockshin founded Convergent Wealth Advisors, which has approximately $8.4 billion in assets under management, 20 years ago and sold the firm to City National Bank in 2007. Stepping down as chairman was part of a "planned transition," he says, but was "accelerated by the unfortunate recent events."
ZIER'S 'PRIVATE FUND' CASTS CLOUD OVER CONVERGENT
Convergent has indeed been rocked by Zier's death and questions surrounding irregularities that were found in a private fund he had been running since 1997. Zier Asset Management was run outside of Convergent, but the firm monitored Zeir's reported trades. Lockshin was Zier's supervisor for investment activities at Convergent, but not at ZAM.
Zier's fund has drawn the attention of outside regulators, but neither Convergent nor City National would say if the fund is currently being investigated, or whether any lawsuits related to the fund have been filed. Not surprisingly, rival wealth management firms are trying to capitalize on the situation, sparking what one competitor called a "feeding frenzy" for Convergent clients.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR LOCKSHIN
Lockshin will remain a member of Convergent's board and says he will "continue to serve select Convergent clients as needed."
He was praised for serving Convergent with "tremendous energy and dedication" by Doug Wolford, Convergent's former chief operating officer who was named the new CEO earlier this month. Gershen will take over as chairman at the firm's next board meeting in January, according to Wolford.
Two new ventures will take up most of Lockshin's time: AdvicePeriod, a Los Angeles-based wealth management firm targeted to ultrahigh-net-worth clients and B+ Institutional Services, a company he owns jointly with another industry heavyweight, Marty Bicknell, chief executive of Mariner Wealth Advisors, that will distribute Betterment Institutional's digital platform to RIAs.
The entrepreneurial Lockshin also founded Fortigent, the wealth management platform provider that is now owned by LPL, and the short-lived Advizent, a would-be arbiter for industry standards. He was named Barrons' top independent advisor in 2011 and last year published a primer on the advisory business, “Get Wise to Your Advisor.”
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