GenSpring, the nation’s largest RIA managing private wealth, has suffered massive defections of advisors from its Phoenix office, according to two sources who spoke to Advisors4Advisors on the condition of anonymity.
Seven of nine directors in GenSpring’s Phoenix office have left the firm the last 18 months, and two advisors in GenSpring’s Denver office have bolted or are planning to do so, the sources say.
GenSpring, which manages about $18 billion, has quickly launched itself to the top of the list of RIAs ranked by asset management by acquiring wealth management firms around the country.
In January 2008, GenSpring purchased Phoenix-based Inlign Wealth Management, which was founded by Mark D. Feldman and managed about $2 billion. Inlign was GenSpring's largest acquisition and instantly established GenSpring in Phoenix.
According to a source familiar with GenSpring’s Phoenix office, Feldman is no longer with the firm. In addition, Christina S. Burroughs, who was President of the Phoenix office of GenSpring, also left GenSpring recently to become an advisor with Phoenix-based Miller/Russell & Associates. Sources say two other directors in GenSpring’s Phoenix office, Scott Horn and Eric Voita, are also joining a new firm, TFO Phoenix. In total, seven of nine directors in GenSpring's Phoenix office have left.
In addition to the loss of advisors in Phoenix, GenSpring’s Denver office is also said to be seeing personnel transitions. GenSpring established a presence in Denver with its April 2009 acquisition of Epic Advisors, which had been founded by Gloria Higgins. Sources say Higgins is expected to leave shortly and, Timothy Ulfig, an advisor previously left the firm.
Sources say the GenSpring defections stem at least partly from differences over portfolio management. While advisors in GenSpring’s West Palm Beach, Florida home office are said to be proponents active asset management and making tactical decisions on investments, the advisors who have left the firm are said to be more traditional strategic asset allocators who make few market bets and instead lean toward passive management, tax efficiency, and low-cost index funds and ETFs.
GenSpring did not return a call seeking comment in time for publication.
Corrected at 5 p.m. EST on 11/21 to provide the name of the firm Scott Horn and Eric Voitra are joining.
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