Fast-Growing Advisory Firm Steward Partners Suffers Partner Clash
(Corrects sixth paragraph to say Gold declined to comment, not that he confirmed Maurer’s departure.)
Michael Maurer, executive chairman and a co-founder of Steward Partners Global Advisory, a Raymond James Financial Services independent firm with $3.7 billion of brokerage and advisory assets, said Tuesday that he has abruptly left the firm.
“The how and why of my separation from Steward is likely to be the subject of extensive litigation,” Maurer, a former Morgan Stanley complex manager in Washington, DC, wrote in an email to friends and colleagues. “While I am very upset about the actions taken against me, I do not believe that is appropriate to use this moment as an opportunity to cast aspersions on the various actors involved.”
Ari Wilkenfeld, a Washington lawyer representing Maurer, said the executive expects to file a lawsuit within the next several weeks.
“I want to characterize what has happened here as a rather ugly power grab,” Wilkenfeld said. “There’s no coincidence that his removal, which benefits those who remain, has occurred in such close proximity to the excellent forecasts regarding profitability going forward.”
Maurer founded the so-called hybrid registered investment advisory firm in the fall of 2013 in the nation’s capital with James Gold, who previously ran Morgan Stanley’s southern Connecticut complex.
Gold declined to comment.
Steward manages about $1.7 billion in customer advisory assets and another $2 billion in brokerage assets at nine offices along the East Coast and in New Hampshire, according to regulatory filings and recent interviews with the executives.
The firm has been expanding. In October it hired a former Wells Fargo complex manager to lead recruiting in New England. It has 51 financial advisors and wealth managers, according to its website.
Tony Sirianni, publisher and chief executive of AdvisorHub, was also a founding partner of Steward.