UBS Wealth Team With $400 Million Bolts to Start Boutique

By August 7, 2015News, Press Releases

by Anthony Effinger Aug. 5, 2015
Orignal article at bloomberg.com

Paul Tanner, a wealth manager at UBS Group AG who oversaw about $400 million, left with colleagues Monday to start Las Olas Capital Advisors, a boutique that manages finances mostly for entrepreneurs.

“We don’t cover any Thurston Howell IIIs,” Tanner said in an interview, invoking the hereditary millionaire from “Gilligan’s Island,” the 1960s television show.

Tanner, 59, is among a growing number of wealth managers leaving large banks to set up their own firms, aiming to keep revenue they once shared with employers. He left UBS with assistance from TruClarity Holdings, a new company that helps brokers and investment advisers strike out on their own. Las Olas Capital Advisors, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is TruClarity’s first client.

UBS spokesman Gregg Rosenberg said the Zurich-based bank doesn’t comment on departures.

Tanner had been at UBS since 2008 and previously worked at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. TruClarity is looking to compete with firms including Dynasty Financial Partners, chaired by former Citigroup Inc. executive Todd Thomson, to help brokers find office space, set up custody accounts for assets and create payrolls. Unlike others, TruClarity takes an equity stake in the new money-management ventures and provides capital for their formation.

The Tampa, Florida-based company is backed by a family office that sees potential in the nascent industry, TruClarity President Craig Butler said in an interview. Family offices manage the fortunes of wealthy clans.

Overcoming Fear
Butler, 61, worked at Fidelity for 18 years, where he sold its custodial services to registered investment advisers, like Las Olas. He started TruClarity after seeing how many bank-based advisers wanted to go independent.

“One of the main reasons these guys don’t leave is fear,” he said. “They don’t know how to get started. When you throw in legal, compliance, HR and payroll, it scares the daylights out of them.”

For help with Las Olas, Butler turned to yet another firm that specializes in freeing brokers: Tru Independence LLC, in Portland, Oregon. Despite the similar name, the two aren’t affiliated. Tru Independence helped with technology and access to investment research.

The boutique is named for Las Olas Boulevard, the posh shopping street in Fort Lauderdale. Tanner said he’d been thinking about starting his own firm for some time. “You can’t be in this business and not think about it,” he said.

Advisers who leave are betting that they can make more money on their own. In general, advisers in banks keep less than 40 percent of the revenue they generate, Butler said, and they often must cover the salaries of their assistants.

Tanner is being joined at Las Olas by Merissa Ann Davis, head of trading and administration; Samantha Sullivan, head of the portfolio analytics and research; and Melissa Stephenson, who handles digital media and marketing.