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In sign of fiduciary shift, sister-brother team launches indie RIA with Dynasty

Financial advisors Katherine Forrester Schneewind and her brother Michael Forrester
Financial advisors Katherine Forrester Schneewind and her brother Michael Forrester launched independent RIA High Note Wealth in the Minneapolis area.

Sibling financial advisors who built a $500-million practice with Northwestern Mutual dropped their FINRA licenses to launch an independent RIA on the Dynasty Financial Partners platform.

Katherine Forrester Schneewind and her brother Michael Forrester are one of more than 45 Dynasty network partner RIAs with $40 billion in client assets, according to the service provider and turnkey asset manager. BD incumbents face a competitive recruiting threat from platform providers like Dynasty, along with RIA consolidators who purchase equity in practices.

The official SEC registration for the Minneapolis-area practice, High Note Wealth, went into effect on Nov. 5. Schneewind had spent her entire 22-year career affiliated with Northwestern. She cites the market shift in wealth management to independent fiduciary RIAs, as well as Dynasty’s platform and TAMP.

“We did meet with several others,” Schneewind says. “They were the best of the best at what they do, and we wanted to settle for nothing less.”

Northwestern spokeswoman Betsy Hoylman confirmed the practice’s departure and emailed a statement.

“We remain committed to recruiting, developing and retaining advisors interested in comprehensive planning to help clients achieve financial security through insurance and investments,” Hoylman said.

Minnetonka, Minnesota-based High Note uses Charles Schwab as its custodian — which offered lower fees and commissions in exchange for the firm maintaining at least $250 million in client assets with the custodian, according to its SEC Form ADV brochure.

While Schwab is serving as custodian to each Dynasty network partner RIA that has launched this year, Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions works with nearly the same number of practices on the platform at more than 20 apiece. Advisors choose their custodian with Dynasty.

Schneewind, High Note’s CEO, and Forrester — a CFP and CFA holder who is the CIO — examined custodian options in their due diligence, he says. Noting the custodial move from Pershing is going “pretty darn fast,” Forrester praises the practice’s six-employee team.

“You have to have a really good plan if you want to go independent,” Forrester says, calling it a “wonderful opportunity to reassess and redefine” the practice and its relationships.

Dynasty is providing High Note with an advisor desktop, home-office support and specialists, among other tools and resources. The RIA’s name refers to achieving the best service for clients, who have been hearing from the sister-brother duo about the move, Schneewind says.

“We've had an overwhelmingly positive response thus far,” she says. “My brother and I both tend to be people who don’t let any moss grow under our feet.”

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