Pensco To Acquire Lincoln's IRA Business
Pensco Trust, a custodian for high-net-worth independent investors and their advisors dealing in tax-advantaged alternative assets, is acquiring the IRA business of Lincoln Trust, to create one of the largest independent custodians of alternative assets in the nation.

Pensco, based in San Francisco, will retain the name and will more than double its assets under custody from $4 billion to $10 billion. It will grow its client base from 17,000 to 57,000, according to an announcement from the two companies.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter. The acquisition was undertaken because investors are increasing their asset allocations to alternative investments and banks and broker-dealers are migrating alternative asset accounts to independent custodians that have a special expertise to administer these complex assets, said Pensco CEO Kelly Rodriques.

"Pensco is creating a firm with institutional scale and national reach to handle the accelerating growth of alternative assets across the U.S.," said Rodriques. The enhanced technology platform will streamline the process of investing in alternative assets in tax-advantaged accounts, according to Pensco.

Pensco will deal in private equity, venture capital, startup companies, real estate, notes and precious metals. It will also expand its advisor network with the addition of 6,000 advisors who currently work with Lincoln.

The acquisition will allow Pensco to make alternative assets more accessible to self-directed investors who want to diversify their portfolios by putting high-growth assets in their IRA accounts, according to Pensco.

Lincoln Trust will retain its 401(k) business and remain an independent entity serving employer-sponsored retirement plans. It now provides trust, custodial, record-keeping and administration services to open architecture 401(k) plans and other defined contribution plans.

-Karen DeMasters

FTSE Creates Wealth Preservation Unit

FTSE Group, a global index provider, has created the Wealth Preservation Unit (WPU) to stabilize global investments in currencies and preserve wealth over a long-term investment.

The WPU is not designed to provide an expected return but to act as a stable global currency unit for global investors, according to FTSE, which has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney. It is made up of 11 currencies and two commodities, gold and oil.

"WPU is designed to protect global investors' wealth against currency swings and inflation," FTSE said in a statemen, noting that paper currencies risk the loss of purchasing power as inflation destroys wealth.

FTSE WPU is working with Mountain Pacific Group, a U.S. currency firm. FTSE WPU provides investors with a tool that aims to mitigate both risk of loss arising from changes in relative valuation in currencies, as well as internal loss from inflation, according to FTSE. It is a single currency unit constructed from a basket of developed currencies, emerging currencies and stable commodities.

-Karen DeMasters

On The Move

Dynasty Financial Partners has hired Samuel Kiefer as director and senior investment management consultant for their Risk Paradigm Group Family Wealth Advisory's Boston office. Kiefer, an accredited investment fiduciary, was previously a vice president in investments and senior managed account consultant for UBS Wealth Services.   

Gresham Partners
, headquartered in Chicago, has named Joe Simpson and David Colton principals. Simpson, a senior investment analyst since 2005, supervises the operations of Gresham's investment platform. Colton, an advisor, CPA and former attorney, supervises Gresham's relationships with CPA firms across the country.

CONCERT Global Group has appointed Brad Stratton as wealth manager and vice president of CONCERT Wealth Management's Overland Park, Kan., office. Prior to joining CONCERT, Stratton served as resident director, vice president and senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch.

Brinton Eaton, based in Madison, N.J., has hired Rohith Eggidi as an investment analyst. Eggidi will work on quantitative analysis and risk-modeling projects for the benefit of the firm's investment management clients. Previously with OmniMarkets as a quantitative analyst intern, Rohith was involved in several projects relating to alternative asset valuation.  

HighTower has opened two new offices in Baltimore and Los Angeles. Leo Kelly III and Brian Grumbach, formerly of The Kelly Group at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, have joined as managing directors and partners in Baltimore. James Hausberg has also joined HighTower as managing director and partner. Hausberg, formerly a managing director at The Presidio Group, will lead the Los Angeles office.

BNY Mellon's
wealth management business has appointed Kristopher Carney as senior portfolio manager and Angela Smith Domzal as sales director for Manhattan. Carney, a 20-year financial services veteran, joins BNY Mellon from the Dillon Trust Company. Smith Domzal joins BNY Mellon from Wells Fargo, where she was a senior relationship manager focused on institutions and not-for-profit segments.  

-Kathy Lynch