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Texas Team with $700 Million AUA Joins Private Wealth From Wells Fargo

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A Texas-based team of advisors with approximately $700 million in assets under advisement is joining Private Wealth Asset Management, becoming the firm’s fourth office in the Lone Star State and the sixth team to join the RIA since it formed last September.

The team is led by advisors Michelle Acton, Bryan Jarman and Gayle Fincher and will join Private Wealth from Wells Fargo. Last month, an advisor duo also departed Wells Fargo to launch a new division at the RIA overseeing real estate and energy assets for clients.

All of the new team members hail from West Texas, and the team has a “built-in succession plan” for clients and families, according to Jarman. In a statement about the partnership with Private Wealth, Acton said the team was “pleased” to open an office in Midland, calling it a market that had pride in its legacy.

“It is filled with families who have grown up and made that town what it is today, families who have realized tremendous success from, and place great value on, all that the land in West Texas provides,” she said. “We share their desire to continue to grow and give back to the community we all love.”

According to Jarman, with Private Wealth, the firm can offer traditional services like fiduciary lending, trust and estate services and business transition assistance, as well as needs particularly suited for Texas clients, including energy advice and guidance on farm and ranch land assets. 

“Independence allows us to make decisions that are best for our clients, without the constraint of a single firm’s offerings and not tainted by solution-based compensation models,” Jarman said.

Private Wealth launched in early September, with offices in Omaha, Neb. as well as West Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In October, the firm opened Texas offices in both San Antonio and Corpus Christi, and viewed Midland and the broader West Texas region as the logical next step in its expansion. 

In total, the firm has about 40 advisors, and the RIA focused on founding offices in less populated markets to fill what they perceived as a gap left by larger institutions opting to build out in larger cities at the expense of smaller metros. The firm has totaled more than $6 billion in AUA since its inception, without including assets from the new team members.

Last month, Private Wealth enticed two other Wells Fargo advisors with more than $1 billion in managed assets to co-lead the firm’s Speciality Asset Management Division to help families with significant land holdings, and/or energy reserves like oil and gas. Bryan Frazier, who’d previously worked as a Wells Fargo senior regional manager, became the new head of energy asset management, while Rodney Kleman became Private Wealth’s new head of real estate management (Private Wealth itself was formed by several Wells Fargo veterans). 

Frazier and Kleman kept their home bases of Fort Worth and San Angelo, respectively. In an interview with WealthManagement.com Frazier said Private Wealth filled a need for clients who were being underserved by larger institutions.

“I don’t care how big the RIA is in this space,” he said. “They don’t have what we have.”