Carrie Gallaway and Andrew Stern to lead group opening YorkBridge Wealth Partners
July 07, 2016 2:23 p.m. ET
A group of investment advisers managing more than $750 million in assets left Lebenthal Wealth Advisors to start their own firm, the latest bid for independence within the wealth-management business.
Carrie Gallaway and Andrew Stern launched their registered investment advisory firm, YorkBridge Wealth Partners, on Thursday with support from advisory-services firm Dynasty Financial Partners. Five other Lebenthal employees are joining the pair at YorkBridge, which will be based in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, N.Y.
Ms. Gallaway and Mr. Stern had joined Lebenthal about two years ago after leaving Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in 2014. Both spent about a decade with Citigroup Inc. and remained at its joint venture with Morgan Stanley in 2009, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records.
Mr. Stern says the move will give the team “flexibility to tap the best the Street has to offer,” including new technology and investment products.
Ms. Gallaway added that the ability to control their own firm will also allow the team to better serve clients, many of whom are young executives and entrepreneurs.
Alexandra Lebenthal, chief executive of boutique investment bank Lebenthal Holdings LLC, confirmed the move. “As an entrepreneur, I totally understand their desire to have their own business,” she said.
The move will prompt Lebenthal Wealth Advisors, launched in 2013, to reduce focus on wealth management. Ms. Lebenthal says the Gallaway-Stern group was Lebenthal Wealth Advisors’ “main team,” so while the company isn’t shutting down its wealth-management business, it will be “a much smaller part” of Lebenthal’s overall business.
Mr. Stern says the team did “lots of homework,” researching various options before deciding to go independent. He said the group chose to work with Dynasty for its support services partly because of the experience brought by the firm’s founder and chief executive, Shirl Penney.
“He spent years sitting in our shoes,” Mr. Stern says. Before starting Dynasty, Mr. Penney was director of business development and global wealth advisory services at Citigroup and held several executive positions in the wealth-management industry.
New York-based Dynasty provides independent adviser teams with access to a platform for trading, clearing, research and other support services. While Dynasty does offer financing options for advisers setting up their own firms, it doesn’t own the firms and the advisers aren’t employees of Dynasty.