J.P. Morgan Securities Team in Atlanta Splits to Join RIA
J.P. Morgan Securities, which has been aggressively snapping up high-producing wirehouse teams, last week lost one of its own in Atlanta.
Jeffrey S. Diamond, who spent the last 22 years with J.P. Morgan Securities and predecessor Bear Stearns brokerage, left along with junior partner Zachary A. Morris to set up their own independent practice affiliated with registered investment advisor roll-up tru Independence. The two had generated around $2 million in annual revenue from over $200 million in client assets, a spokesman for tru Independence confirmed.
A source familiar with the move said that the duo made chose the independent route because it would give them more flexibility in setting up a succession plan to eventually hand over the firm to Morris. Neither Diamond, a 33-year industry veteran, nor Morris, a seven-year vet, returned a call for comment at their new office.
“[A]s an independent firm we have the freedom and flexibility to tailor our services to ensure the maximum benefit for [clients],” Diamond said in a prepared statement.
A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan Securities declined to comment or confirm the departure.
Paces Ferry, which focuses on business owners and corporate executives, custodies with Charles Schwab & Co.’s Advisor Services, according to its brochure. The two brokers have relinquished their Financial Industry Regulatory Authority brokerage licenses and are 100% fee-only, according to the tru Independence spokesman.
Diamond began his career at Paine Webber in 1985, with stops at Lehman Brothers and Dean Witter Reynolds before joining Bear, Stearns & Co. 22 years ago in 1996, according to BrokerCheck. J.P. Morgan acquired the Bear Stearns unit during the financial crisis.
Morris started his brokerage career when he joined Diamond’s team at J.P. Morgan Securities in 2011. They are adding a client associate to their team, Connor Jabs, according to the tru Independence spokesman.
The brokers both have the same pending customer complaint on their records in March tied to an allegedly unsuitable investment recommendation made between January and February of this year, according to BrokerCheck. In comments appended to the filing, both brokers said they “strenuously” deny the allegations.
“The customer had a managed account and fully understood the risks associated with the investment at issue,” they wrote.
Portland, Oregon-based Tru Independence has around 10 firms under its umbrella and manages $605 million in advisory assets from around 505 clients, according to its latest ADV filing.
It earlier this month added a team of UBS Financial Services brokers who had been producing at least $2.75 million in annual revenue in Denver.