Snowden Lane Recruits Hybrid RIAs in Colorado, Florida

November 2023

The newest additions are the second and third teams to jump to Snowden Lane Partners from within the independent channel.

Ali Hibbs | Nov 30, 2023

After growing to $11 billion almost exclusively through the recruitment of wirehouse and bank breakaway advisors since its founding in 2011, Snowden Lane Partners has added two teams from within the independent channel—a father-son team in Colorado and a duo in Florida have joined the company, becoming the second and third in the firm’s history to make the move.

Over the summer, Douglas Gill became the first independent advisor to join the hybrid registered investment advisory firm’s network of semi-independent, W-2 advisors.

Establishing Snowden Lane’s first office in Colorado, Denver-based Schuyler Cayton and his father Wendell Cayton are joining the firm as partners and managing directors from the Continuum Advisory platform, which manages a little more than $1 billion in registered assets. Each operated their own practices on the Continuum platform and have joined forces to launch as Mountain West Advisors under Snowden Lane, bringing around $100 million in assets, nearly all of which is managed.

They are joined by Senior Client Relationship Manager Erika Winters, who previously worked with Schuyler Cayton. With experience providing retirement and legacy planning for individuals and businesses, the team will retain Schwab as primary custodian in the move.

“It really speaks to the fact that while our footprint is expanding, our reach is also expanding,” said Snowden Lane founder and Chairman Lyle LaMothe. “Our attraction is expanding to the independent channel beyond the wirehouse breakaway. So, it’s a great day for Snowden Lane.”

It was “gratifying” the team was referred by an advisor who has been with Snowden Lane for nearly a decade, LaMothe said, noting the Caytons had been seeking a partnership that would allow them to keep their identity while offloading back-office functions and positioning them for growth and eventual succession.

“Above all else, Snowden Lane’s leadership team understands and respects the two ingredients that are essential for advisors who strive to provide clients with the highest level of service and advice—autonomy and support,” Schuyler Cayton said in a statement.

Having that second-generation already in place made the team particularly attractive, according to LaMothe.

“Wendell is fully engaged and ready to go and grow,” he said. “But ultimately, as he moves toward retirement, he will be transitioning his practice to Schuyler—who is therefore the lead advisor.”

The Colorado office is the first in the Rocky Mountain region and brings Snowden Lane to 14 offices in 10 states as the firm continues to expand into new markets.

“Since our origin, we’ve tried to grow very methodically, very prudently,” LaMothe said, pointing out that the firm already has clients in all 50 states. “Based on the incredible success over the last several years, our offices are largely full on the East Coast. As we look into other markets, we knew that Denver was very vibrant and has been front and center in our mind for a while, so we’re glad to finally be opening there. We’re also looking into the Pacific Northwest, parts of the Northeast and other areas in the center of the country.”

In the Southeast, a duo from Bulltick Wealth Management is joining Snowden Lane’s office in Coral Gables, Fla., bringing with them a client roster comprising about 45 wealthy Latin American families.

Forming the Gherardi Group, Christian Silva Lima Gherardi joins as a partner and managing director, along with Pedro Pelaez as private wealth manager. The pair was the top-producing team at Bulltick, where they spent nearly eight years. Prior to that, they were with Citigroup Global Markets.

“As the industry continues to evolve, we felt Snowden Lane offered us the best opportunity to continue providing our clients with the flexible, goal-based solutions they have come to expect,” Gherardi said in a statement. “The Coral Gables team brings their own international expertise to the table, and we’re excited to collaborate to achieve our clients’ financial goals.”

Pershing will remain their primary custodian after the move.

The Gherardi team was also introduced to Snowden Lane by an existing advisor, according to founder and President Greg Franks.

“That was a referral from an individual in our Miami office where the timing was perfect and everything came together quickly,” he said. “His clients are predominantly significant family groups in Central and South America, where every business is the entire family. That’s the norm in that part of the world. It’s truly multi-generational family businesses and you end up getting all those relationships once you have the patriarch’s money.”

Franks and Snowden Lane founder/CEO Rob Mooney both spent years with Merrill Lynch International, working in places such as London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. So they founded Snowden Lane with the intention of serving clients globally.

“We always wanted that to be a piece of the company, and I think maybe even our third team was an international team 10 years ago,” he said. “So, it’s not new but what we’ve been seeing in the last four years or so is that disruptions in the international wealth business—with Wells Fargo exiting international and Morgan Stanley struggling with the issues right now in their international business—have been causing more moves than normal, and we’re a fortunate beneficiary of that.”

All Snowden Lane recruits are brought in as W-2 employees and principals are offered equity in the transaction.

“What we’re building is a true firm,” said Franks. “Our advisors are partners and managing directors; it’s a very inclusive business model.”

Majority owned by Estancia Capital Partners since 2013, Snowden Lane has leveraged debt capital through ORIX Corporation to facilitate its recruitment strategy since 2018. After reupping that facility in January, the firm proceeded to add The Upland Group and a new office in New Hampshire, as well as a Miami advisor—both from Morgan Stanley.

Douglas Gill joined in June, a duo from UBS was announced last month and the firm passed $1 billion in recruited assets in early November with the addition of the Jones Group in Philadelphia, which also established its first Pennsylvania location.

Franks said to expect another announcement next week, and that the plan to is reach 100 advisors by the middle of next year, “at the very latest, if not sooner.”

“Based on our pipeline, you should anticipate seeing Snowden Lane offices opening in additional markets in the not-too-distant future,” added LaMothe.

About a year ago, Snowden Lane added TD Ameritrade as a custodian alongside Pershing in anticipation of TD’s announced sale to Charles Schwab. After what Franks described as a smooth transition, the firm has now welcomed its first Schwab-based recruit with the addition of Mountain West.

Based in New York City, Snowden Lane currently employs 82 advisors overseeing close to $11 billion in advisory and brokerage assets, as well as 63 additional staff members working from offices in New York, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas, New Hampshire and, now, Colorado.