Raymond James recruits longtime Arvest wealth managers

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 1,234 views 

In March, Arvest Wealth Management (AWM), a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of Fayetteville-chartered Arvest Bank, announced it was in the process of changing its custodian and clearing firm relationships from Wells Fargo Clearing Services and Raymond James and Associates to Pershing.

That news has been followed by a handful of recent departures from AWM, most notable being a team that combined had worked for Arvest more than 60 years.

Jim Ed Summers, Troy Kestner and Deena Wright have moved to Raymond James and are now part of the firm’s Northwest Arkansas complex, according to Coleman Ward, who is the Northwest Arkansas complex manager and announced the new office April 17 in a social media post.

Ward did not disclose the amount of assets managed by the three advisers while at AWM, and those assets don’t necessarily follow them to Raymond James. The adviser has to move to the new firm, then try to call their clients to ask for them to follow them.

That’s an interesting nuance in itself, considering most firms don’t allow advisers to take any information with them, so the advisers are supposed to just “remember” all the information about the client to call them and ask them to move their business to them.

Some firms are part of an agreement called the protocol for broker recruiting, created in 2004. Its intention was to reduce the number of disputes caused by advisers changing companies.

The protocol, which now has more than 1,800 company signatories, allows advisers to take client information — names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses — when they leave.

Arvest is not part of that protocol.

Summer, Wright and Kestner now work for SWK Financial Planning Advisors of Raymond James. The office also includes client relationship associates Kimberley Shepherd and Stephanie Lovell, who also worked for Arvest. Their office is at 3945 N. Vantage Drive in Fayetteville. It’s the fourth Raymond James office in the Northwest Arkansas complex, adding to existing locations in Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Rogers.

Hannah Kennedy, Heath Stanley and Micah Gibson are others who left AWM in early April. Kennedy and Stanley, who worked for AWM for a combined seven years, started a new firm in Springdale called New Wave Wealth Advisors at 4700 S. Thompson St. Their broker-dealer firm also includes their previous assistant at Arvest, Stephanie Henry, and now clears through Charles Schwab.

Gibson, an adviser with AWM for more than 15 years, has opened a firm called Heritage Oak Wealth Advisors in Rogers. That firm also now clears through Charles Schwab. Gibson’s assistant at Arvest, Carleen Richard, also works for Heritage Oak. Austin Bryan, formerly of Smith Capital in Little Rock, also works for the business as an adviser.

AWM was the largest broker-dealer in Northwest Arkansas, according to the most recent list published in October by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, with 72 registered representatives in the region.

AWM reported total assets under management of more than $12 billion as of Dec. 31, 2018.

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