Craig M. Avery, the managing director of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (FiNet), is resigning from the company. Friday is his last day.
Avery was the top lieutenant to C. Kent Christian, the president of FiNet, and largely seen as the second-in-command. FiNet, the independent investment arm of Wells Fargo, supports some 1200 advisors controlling $68 billion in client assets. That’s a small sliver compared to Wells Fargo’s full-service platform advisors, but was built as a means to bring the wirehouse’s scale to independent brokers.
“I have nothing but respect for Wells Fargo,” said Avery. “This has nothing to do with any frustrations.” Avery said he was taking a position outside of the brokerage industry with a firm where he felt he may have more leadership opportunities. Christian was unavailable for comment, but a spokesperson for Wells Fargo said there was no immediate plan to announce his replacement.
Avery joined Wells Fargo in 2005 after working with FiNet from the client side as a founder of LionStone Wealth Management in Savannah. He began his career as a Merrill Lynch financial advisor. He has been in his current position with Wells Fargo since 2011.
At FiNet he chaired an RIA pilot group and was responsible for business strategy and partnerships. He is leaving the brokerage industry to take a position with TMX Finance, the parent company of title lending firm TitleMax, which has some 5,000 employees that operate out of retail storefronts across 12 states, making quick loans to individuals who use automobile titles as collateral. The privately-held company grew revenue 20 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to $181 million.
Here is a video interview Avery did with WealthManagement.com at the Investment Management Consultants Association national conference in 2012.