Steward Partners opens 19th branch, hires $195M advisors

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Steward Partners opened its 19th location and added two more former wirehouse advisors to its burgeoning ranks — which now top 100 brokers — according to the company.

The Washington, D.C.-based and Raymond James-affiliated firm was founded in 2013 by former wirehouse managers and has grown rapidly by attracting talent from its larger rivals.

“We’ve had a thoughtful growth process, but it’s happened even quicker than we expected,” Divisional President Jeff Gonyo says, adding the firm has had to hire additional staff to accommodate the number of new advisors signing on.

In April, Steward Partners' expansion got additional backing in a minority investment from private equity firm the Cynosure Group. Steward Partners said the funds would fuel growth as well as provide liquidity for its partners.

The independent firm’s newest location in Hendersonville, North Carolina, is staffed by Bill Gold, who oversaw $120 million in client assets at his former employer UBS. It’s the firm’s first office in the state and further indication the company is expanding beyond its base in the Northeast.

Steward Partners opened its first office in Texas last year and a second one in March. The firm also has an office in Clearwater, Florida.

Gold says he moved to get more stability for his practice. “What I am trying to do is get back to what we wall want to be doing and that’s take care of the clients,” he says.

A 25-year industry veteran, he’s also the brother of Steward Partners CEO Jim Gold.

“I’m the older, smarter and better looking one,” Gold says, laughing.

Though the brothers both work in finance, their careers have not previously crossed paths.

Gold says he knew of Steward Partners since its founding, but hadn’t previously joined the firm because transitions can be taxing and he wanted to explore his options first. Gold didn’t find anything suitable at the outset and discounted opening his own RIA — noting he wouldn’t have access to the same level of support he gets now at Steward Partners. It’s important, he says, to have as much face-to-face time with clients as possible.

“After this, I’m going to talk to a 98-old-woman who is transitioning her account,” Gold says.

Steward Partners’ other new hire, Ronnyjane Goldsmith, joined the firm from Morgan Stanley where she oversaw $75 million in client assets. She now operates from Steward Partners’ office in Washington, D.C. She’s been in the industry since 1998 and has past work experience at Merrill Lynch, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Executives say they expect headcount to top 110 by the end of June.

“Many of the offices we first opened are at capacity,” says Greg Banasz, head of business development.

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Recruiting Career moves RIAs Wirehouse advisors Raymond James Financial Steward Partners Morgan Stanley Wealth Management UBS Wealth Management