UBS Veterans Form RIA in Houston
After 58 years at UBS Financial Services and Merrill Lynch, a pair of Texas brokers have shifted to open their own shop as registered investment advisers.
Stephen Caton and Rick Figueroa, who have 36 and 22 years of experience respectively as retail brokers, opened Patron Partners on Tuesday, together with an associate, Kelly Aimone, according to tru Independence, a service provider for RIAs.
“We believe our role in our clients’ lives is more than a business relationship and we are looking forward to continuing to deliver our services with a values-first mindset,” Figueroa said in a prepared statement. He positioned the move as a way to “build deeper relationships” with clients by offering more customized financial planning services.
The two advisors officially left UBS on Friday, according to their registration records with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and are using Charles Schwab & Co. as custodian for their new RIA. Joining them as a partner is Kelly Aimone, who ran a private law practice before joining their team last year as a client associate, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Tru Independence, which was founded in 2014, said the UBS breakaways are the 10th team it has supported with financing and platform support this year. In August, it helped Blaine Werner leave Merrill Lynch after 43 years to form an RIA in Eugene, OR.
“The global pandemic has definitely served as a catalyst for advisor teams that have been thinking about becoming independent,”Craig Stuvland, CEO of tru Indepence, wrote in an email. “They have had the time to view the challenge as an opportunity to do something they’ve perhaps been thinking about for a long time.”
Scores of brokers have left Merrill and UBS AG’s in recent years, even as the firms have cut hiring budgets to replace them. UBS withdrew from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting in order to stem attrition, but in recent weeks has been signing private bankers with large books from companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase and Alliance Bernstein to bolster its brokerage force.
Caton began his brokerage career in 1983 at Merrill in 1983, shifting UBS 25 years later, according to his BrokerCheck history.
Figueroa similarly started at Merrill, in December 1997, and moved with his partner to UBS in January 2009, according to his record. He has no record of customer complaints or other disclosures, while Caton’s record has a single complaint from a client about an alleged $40,000 managed account loss that Merrill settled for $15,000.