Another Wells Broker Shifts to Its New RIA Channel
Wells Fargo & Co.’s new registered investment advisor channel has landed its second internal ‘breakaway’ team.
Perry Mattern, who said he has been considering forming a fee-only registered investment advisory firm for more than three years, launched Mattern Capital Management on Friday in what he characterized as an “almost seamless transition” for his approximately 155 clients.
Mattern, who has worked at Wells Fargo Advisors private client group and predecessor firm A.G. Edwards & Sons in Denver for his entire 18-year brokerage career, said his ability to work openly on the transition within the Wells system allowed him to move more than 94% of his clients’ approximately $500 million in assets on his opening day.
He has participated in the Wells RIA pilot since April, meaning he began setting up the RIA as an outside business activity, and he and his three staffers were able to have discussions with clients about their plans prior to opening the door.
“We sent out positive consent kits, and are off and running,” he said.
Mattern, who said he ranked among the private client group’s top 20 advisors and was a Barron’s top 1,000 or top 1,200 advisor from 2013 to 2016, believes he can access more sophisticated technology as an independent and present a client-first fiduciary-care profile to prospects.
“We will never be compensated again from a financial firm, a fund company or anyone for a financial product,” he said.
Wells’ goals-based Envision financial planning software is “really good, but we need real cash-flow basis, not goals-based” tools that can simulate stock option sales, business sale tax analyses and other scenarios for his sophisticated clients, he said.
Wells Fargo Advisors formally opened its RIA channel for advisors with at least $100 million under management late last month, and partnered with custodian TradePMR—which clears through Wells—as custodian for the RIAs it hopes to capture. Its first private client group alumnus, Carl A. Schultz, joined the channel in January.
Mattern said he came close to setting up independently with Charles Schwab as custodian of his clients’ assets, but was satisfied that TradePMR had a sufficiently strong providers for client-reporting, portfolio analysis and like services. Mattern Capital is integrating providers such as Orion Advisor Services, Redtail and Advicent, he said, noting that pricing among RIA custodians is commoditized.
The advisor had been pushing Wells to accommodate his almost 100% discretionary fee-based practice for years. “I realized it wasn’t going to happen within the bank,” he said, “but last April I was at a firm conference in St. Louis and was told that the RIA pilot program might be the perfect fit.”
To be sure, Mattern is making some financial sacrifices to get the technology and fiduciary marketing profile.
“I forfeited a lot of deferred comp to do this, but I never gave a thought to it,” he said. “Anyone at our level should have plenty of money.”