Washington Wealth Management has poached another pair of RBC advisors -- plus one other nearby peer -- in its ongoing quest to attract more wirehouse advisors to its platform.

That brings the rapidly growing firm's total of new advisors to 12 since it was acquired by independent B-D National Financial Partners in March.

Eddie Barber and Russ Tobler, both from RBC Wealth Management, bring to four the number of advisors who have left RBC's Salt Lake City operations this year for Washington Wealth this year.

In September, the firm announced the arrival of ex-RBC advisors Craig Martucci and Todd Adams, cofounders of Martucci Adams Wealth Advisors.

The two latest arrivals, who operate separately as Barber Investment Partners and (for Tobler) Avion Asset Management, have assets under advisement of about $140 million and $42 million, respectively -- although the two share about $30 million under advisement, according to a statement from Washington Wealth.


Adding further to its Salt Lake City presence, the firm also brought on Pamela McComas, a former UBS manager who is leaving a supervisory position to return to her former career as an advisor, says Washington Wealth CEO Rob Bartenstein.

McComas "comes to us with a small but growing book of business," he says; her new firm is Point West Investment Solutions.

Bartenstein says Washington Wealth is making a big push in the Salt Lake City area, with strong prospects in every local wirehouse office as potential breakaways weigh making the jump to independence, he says.

"Salt Lake City has become a very strong legitimate money center over the past two decades," Bartenstein says. "We have found that it's somewhat underserved by some of the other firms that we compete with in the independent channel."

Depending on how many new advisors make the jump, the firm -- which offers shared office space and other turnkey services to its newly independent advisors -- may add a second Salt Lake City office, he says.

Since it was founded several years ago, Washington Wealth has set its sights on wirehouse advisors with $1 million in revenues -- a group that, its founders believe, is currently being underserved by its employers.


The firm's aim has been to create a full-service environment in the independent channel that would feel comfortable and familiar to former wirehouse advisors.

This year's deal with NFP gives Washington Wealth the heft to make wirehouse advisors more confident, Bartenstein believes.

"You have to acknowledge the financial stability of a firm like NFP, that does $1.4 billion in total revenue," he says.

Prior to the acquisition in March, Bartenstein argues, "the template for that integrated experience already existed at Washington Wealth Management." But the NFP deal helped the firm "bolster the infrastructure behind it for advisors."

Washington Wealth started the year with about $1 billion in assets under management and now has potential assets of close to $2 billion, as its newer advisors work to move client assets to their new practices. The firm doubled the number of its affiliated advisors this year from 12 to 24, according to Bartenstein -- and he's hoping a few more prospects may cross the line before 2015 begins.

"There are one or two folks that may make a decision prior to year end," he says. "The number is obviously a running tally."

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