Snowden Lane Partners continues to profit from Fieldpoint Private’s failed deal to sell its advisory unit earlier this year and the closure of the boutique bank’s wealth management arm.
The independent wealth manager added its third new financial adviser to its New York headquarters in Fieldpoint Private’s last four months when Al Jacobi followed his longtime business partner Tom Hakala to Snowden Lane on August 8. The practice, which has been together for more than 20 years at Fieldpoint, Wilmington Trust and other banks, manages $360 million in assets on behalf of its high net worth clients.
Fieldpoint, based in Greenwich, Conn., plans to focus on private banking for advisory practices rather than running its own wealth management program. His exit earlier this year from a $5 billion deal to sell the company coincided with the breakaway moves of several of its 25 financial advisers. The departures continued following the cancellation of the deal with Summit Financial Holdings in April for reasons the parties have not publicly disclosed.
While recruiter Mark Elzweig said he was unable to say for sure what happened with the deal, he pointed out that Fieldpoint advisers are direct employees of the bank while the Summit advisors are independent.
“In any type of M&A transaction, you need to have the support of your advisors to undertake it,” Elzweig said. “The lesson is that there has to be a benefit for advisors and their clients. There has to be business model compatibility.”
Even with the continued record volume of M&A dealsthen, a few either failed or turned into cautionary tales for advisors.
Elzweig describes the advisers as “ultimately entrepreneurial free agents,” and Jacobi said Fieldpoint’s ranks “almost all became free agents” due to the company’s decision to shut down its management arm. of heritage.
He called the separation amicable, noting that Fieldpoint retains an aspect of the firm’s business.
“Most of my customers who bank with Fieldpoint stay with Fieldpoint,” Jacobi said. “For them, it’s really a smooth transition other than maybe signing additional paperwork.”
Fieldpoint representatives declined to comment on Jacobi’s decision. Executive Chairman Tim Tully said in the spring that the firm was “moving away from ownership of consulting practices” and that its advisers were “making independent decisions” about moving to other firms.
Jacobi oversees the investments of the firm’s clients while Hakala manages the planning component. Jacobi business partner joined Snowden in July after leaving Fieldpoint, where he managed $180 million in client assets. Another former Fieldpoint adviser, Thomas Conway, went at Snowden’s New York office in May. The Jacobi-Hakala Group marks the sixth incoming team of the year for Snowden, which has 72 advisers managing approximately $9 billion in client assets and additional new funding of $30 million thanks to its June recapitalization.
“We deeply admire Fieldpoint Private, hence our excitement when it became clear that the Jacobi-Hakala Group would join our company,” Snowden CEO Rob Mooney said in a statement, predicting the team “will thrive. in the boutique environment of Snowden Lane”.
Snowden and similar independent firms targeting outgoing brokers are recruiting even more recruits in the third year of the pandemic, according to Elzweig. They attract advisors with services at a level at least in line with or above that of their existing businesses, as well as previous experience of spinning among their management and capital from private funders, public shareholders or corporations. other partners.
The pandemic has served as a “dress rehearsal or test drive to become independent” among many advisers, Elzweig said.
Snowden Lane “recreates some of the turnkey aspects of the Wirehouse experience, so they make it a whole lot easier,” Elzweig said. “This year and the next few years, there will be a lot of movement towards companies with this type of business model.”