$2.2 Billion-Asset Morgan Stanley Team Opts for Independence
A team of 13 brokers who were managing $2.2 billion in client assets left Morgan Stanley on Friday to start a registered investment advisory firm in Wichita, Ks., the group said in a statement.
Formerly known as the Kirk-Bahm Group and now christened 6 Meridian, the firm includes eight advisors: Thomas H. Kirk III, Stevan M Bahm, Margaret Dechant, Bryan S. Green, Pamela Ann Smith, Sarah Hampton, Andrew Mies and Trevor Phillippi. They’re joined by a “portfolio manager,” Ammie D Weidner, and four sales assistants.
The advisors generated a combined $10 million in annual production in the past year, according to a headhunter familiar with their business.
All the advisors except Phillippi, who did not join Morgan Stanley until 2013, are equity partners in the firm, which will custody with Pershing Advisor Solutions, according to 6 Meridian’s ADV filing with the Securities and Exchange Commision. The firm will conduct brokerage services through independent brokerage firm Private Client Services in Louisville, Ky.
The shift from the wirehouse to independence was motivated by the impending fiduciary standard rule from the Department of Labor and the brokers’ endorsement of the customer-first philosophy to replace the current suitability standard, they said.
“Over the past several years, we examined how we currently serve clients and how we want to serve them in the future,” Mies said in a prepared statement. “It became clear that our ability to deliver on the vision we have for our business required us to make a change.”
All partners, aside from Mies, joined Morgan Stanley in June 2008 from Smith Barney, shortly before Morgan Stanley’s acquisition of the unit, according to BrokerCheck. He joined with the acquisition in 2009.
Kirk was the team’s highest-ranking member at Morgan Stanley, with the title of executive director. That generally signals minimum annual revenue production of $4.4 million, according to Morgan Stanley’s 2015 compensation plan. Kirk began his career at the Wichita firm J.O. Davidson & Associates in 1981.
Bahm, Dechant, Green and Mies were senior vice presidents at the wirehouse, which generally signals at least $1.1 million of production. Bahm began his brokerage career at First Mid-America Inc. in 1980, Dechant at Citigroup in 2002, and Green at Mony Securities Corp. in 1995, according to BrokerCheck.
Smith, a first vice president, began at IFG Network Securities in 1995. Hampton, a vice president, started in 2004 at Cap Pro Brokerage Services.