September 2014

ThinkAdvisor – Boutique Firm Snowden Lane Adds $400M UBS Team

With the new reps, Snowden Lane is closing in on $1.4 billion in assets nationwide

Boutique wealth manager Snowden Lane said early Tuesday that it added a former UBS (UBS) team in Baltimore with about $400 million in client assets.

The means the group now has 15 advisors, about $1.4 billion in assets and offices in three major metropolitan areas (Baltimore-Washington, D.C., New York and Pasadena-Los Angeles).

The four new advisors are Philip A. Lazzari, Mark D. Stevens, Eric Watson and Eric L. “Lanny” Buckner, who do business as the Harbor Wealth Management Group.

“Like many advisors, these professionals appreciate the independent model, i.e., the non-big bank model,” said Snowden Lane CEO Rob Mooney, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “They also appreciate what you can do in our hybrid RIA/broker-dealer structure, which is pretty much anything you could do at UBS but in a less-conflicted environment and without the cross-selling of bank products. Their addition is a meaningful step forward in growing Snowden Lane’s national footprint.”

Mooney co-founded Snowden Lane in April 2012 with managing partner John Morris. The two executives, along with President Greg Franks and Chairman Lyle LaMothe, cut their teeth in the industry at Merrill Lynch. (LaMothe was the head of U.S. Wealth Management at Merrill from 2008 to 2011.)

While Mooney admits there are “a number of hybrid boutiques in the marketplace,” he says Snowden Lane is growing and should continue to attract reps from Merrill (BAC), UBS, Morgan Stanley (MS) and Well Fargo (WFC).

“Advisors can access virtually all the products and services they want to in a high-touch boutique environment that we believe enables them to better serve their clients,” he explained.

The group is focused on establishing a presence in more metropolitan areas. “Our model is to build out offices in key target markets, and we expect to add more advisors in the not too distant future,” Mooney said.

Snowden Lane does not use outside recruiters and attracts prospective advisors largely by word of mouth. “People find us through relationships. Greg and Lyle have an extraordinary number of relationships,” he said.

The four executives, of course, know a good number of reps at Merrill. “But we are not about being a Merrill Lynch lift-out. Not at all,” noted Mooney. “We all spent 20 to 30 years at Merrill Lynch, but many of the Merrill Lynch advisors are now dispersed at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and UBS.”

“I have personally known and worked with these advisors for a number of years, and they’re an absolutely top-tier team,” said Franks in a press release.

Advisors coming on board seem to feel the same way about Snowden Lane’s leadership.

“Our confidence in Snowden Lane’s experienced management team and its strong, differentiated values-driven culture made this the right decision for us,” ex-UBS rep Mark Stevens said in a statement.

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