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A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney team led by Larry King in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. left the wirehouse and started an independent registered investment advisor, King Wealth Management Group.
King had $1.2 billion in assets under management when he was included on Registered Rep.’sTop 100 Wirehouse Advisors in America list last year. Dynasty Financial Partners of New York City, a provider of technology, research and other services for breakaway advisors, helped his team make the transition. King’s team is the ninth major client that Dynasty has announced since it opened just over a year ago, and the third team to leave Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Dynasty President and Chief Executive Shirl Penney says the nine firms manage more than $10 billion in assets.
A financial advisor for 22 years, King worked at Merrill Lynch and Prudential Securities before joining Smith Barney. Penney says King was a member of the wirehouse’s premier private client division. He holds a Certified Portfolio Manager designation, and was on the board of the Portfolio Managers Institute, a group of top advisors who work as portfolio managers at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Outside of his former wirehouse, King helped found the Academy of Certified Portfolio Managers, a credentialed program where advisors share best practices.
King wasn’t available for comment, but in a letter on his firm’s new website, he wrote that the team had decided that an independent business model was the best way to serve clients. “The financial services market is changing in many positive ways. The ‘financial supermarkets’ of the past are no longer where you will find the best people, resources and services. Instead, we believe better service can be achieved by pulling together independent resources, custody, research, and software from firms that specialize in each of these areas,” the letter said. Joining King is senior partner Daniel Gale, and team members Jane Quinn and Casey Congel. A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney confirmed King had left the wirehouse but had no further comment.
“He did not want to have any equity ownership in his practice. He wanted to have a completely independent model where he and his partners owned 100 percent of the equity,” Penney says. “But he also wanted a partner that could help set up him. We helped build his website, all his marketing materials, helped him identify real estate, set the real estate up.” Dynasty also provides access to Callan Associates, which provides institutional asset management and research, Penney says.
“We do not sell anyone on independence. It’s a lifestyle change for them, so it has to be right for them,” Penney adds.
King and Penney are former Smith Barney colleagues; Penney told Registered Rep. they knew each other when he was director of business development for wealth management; in the website letter, King describes Penney as “our old friend.” King is using Fidelity Investments as his primary custodian.