Washington Wealth Management, a breakaway RIA founded last December, continued its explosive growth by acquiring its third breakaway advisor in just the past three weeks, bringing it ever closer to $1 billion in AUM.
“We’re ahead of plan by 50% so we feel really good about that,” WWM President John Simmons said, explaining that the new company had hoped to attract $500 million in AUM in its first year after its founder Tony Sirianni broke away from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. “Are we a juggernaut in terms of profitability? No we are not. But we are a brand new startup and profitability is improving dramatically.”
Thomas Pacilio and the team at Pacilio Wealth Management, also formerly of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, brought $150 million in AUM this week to the Middleburg, Va.-based RIA.
The addition of the Pacilio Wealth Management team coincides with the opening of the company’s new office in Westport, Conn., the firm's first location in Northeastern United States. This is the firm's sixth office to open since it launched. WWM announced a new Las Vegas branch last week when it brought on board Mitchell and Jessica Horst, formerly of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Las Vegas. The couple brought $50 million in AUM with them. Another former Morgan Stanley advisor, David Allen joined WWM earlier this month in San Diego with $30 million in AUM.
“We’ve hung out our shingle,” Simmons said, “for people who want to go independent and are unaware of all that it takes to do that or who don’t want to take the time to go through all the headaches involved.”
Simmons said some advisors are choosing to leave full-service brokerages after watching their employers reduce their profit margins from as high as 20% down to as low as 4%.
“That changes your compensation dramatically,” Simmons said.
Nationally, WWM now is composed of 20 advisors, all of whom are shareholders in the firm, Simmons said. The advisors’ businesses range from fee-only to fee-based to commission-driven.
Tony Sirianni, WMM’s founder and CEO, explained why he thinks his firm is an ideal solution for advisors who want a change. "An independent approach to products and services is critical for the family office concept,” Sirianni said. “For these clients, it is more than just managing their investable assets. Their needs extend to art and antiques lending, aircraft financing, or just holding shares purchased overseas in euros rather than dollars, all of which can be easily managed through our platform."
Ann Marsh writes for Financial Planning.
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