Earlier this year, the leaders of Avenue Financial Holdings said they were mulling acquisitions of wealth management firms as a way to grow their fee revenues. Still with plenty of liquidity on their balance sheet, such purchases remain "a top priority," Chief Credit Officer Andy Moats (pictured) told analysts and investors Friday morning on the company's Q3 earnings call. There is still a lot of potential to tie such businesses into Avenue's private banking operations, Moats said, and his team is still carrying on "quite a few conversations" on the M&A front. But don't expect big news too soon, he added: Any significant news will likely have to wait until 2016.
Avenue shares (Ticker: AVNU) were up on the heels of the company's Q3 numbers. At about 1:40 p.m. Friday, they were changing hands at $13.25, almost 2 percent higher than where they closed Thursday.
Wunderlich Securities' wealth management group has recruited a longtime UBS wealth advisor to its Franklin office. Joseph Sanders manages about $48 million in client assets and had been with UBS for almost 15 years. On the firm's website, the 29-year industry veteran (and former college football coach) says his call to move "is one I have made after a great deal of personal reflection and research. It has been a very thoughtful process centered on meeting the needs of my clients."
Birmingham-based Arlington Family Offices, which manages more than $10 billion in assets for high-net-worth families, has absorbed the operations of ETC Capital Management in downtown Franklin. In a release, Arlington's leaders say Tennessee is a very attractive spot for trust management and add that they have applied for regulatory permission to run an office of their private trust company here.
ETC founder Croley Graham, who is now a managing director of Arlington, is equally upbeat about the combined firms' capabilities: “Arlington’s experience, people, and systems are unmatched and will permit us to provide the absolute best in service to families, not only those in Tennessee but those moving their operations here because of Tennessee’s very favorable trust and tax environments.”
The arbiters of the Certified Financial Planner designation last week said they and local investment manager Kay Quinn in April agreed to a settlement that suspended Quinn's right to use the CFP mark until next January. At issue are a handful rules and ethics transgressions, including advising 55 Quinn Financial Partners clients to invest in a real estate securities that weren't registered for sale in Tennessee — for which the state's Department of Commerce and Insurance censured Quinn in 2013. Read the CFP Board's full release here and check out the 2013 state case against Quinn here.
Cool Springs money manager Dave Crouch has recruited financial executive and former Williamson County Schools board member Cherie Hammond to help him build Aspen Grove Asset Management, the eight-year-old firm that manages about $65 million. Hammond, who is married to media entrepreneur Dan Hammond, also challenged Glen Casada in last year's election for the state House District 63 seat.
As an alternative to product-based financial advisors, Crouch has built the firm’s reputation on intensive management of personally selected individual securities portfolios. Although Hammond will focus on business development in the short term, she plans to earn her Series 7 and Series 66 licenses and become an Investment Advisor Representative within the year.
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