Plaza Advisory Group, headquartered in St. Louis, has become the first firm to join the Steward Partners 1099 affiliate model, which the firm launched in October.

Plaza Advisory Group, established in 1985, was formerly with Royal Alliance Associates, a member of the Advisor Group of independent broker-dealers. Its team of Tom Briggs, Peter Dolan, Judy Rubin and Scott Bensinger collectively oversee $1.2 billion in client assets.

Under terms of the 1099 affiliation, Briggs, Dolan, Rubin and Bensinger each join Steward Partners with the title of managing director, and will continue to provide their clientele of corporate executives, entrepreneurs, women, families, retirees and pre-retirees with wealth management, retirement planning, estate and tax planning, and risk management services from the firm's existing St. Louis office.

"When we first thought about the future of our team, maintaining a certain level of independence was something very important to us," Dolan said in the news release.

For Rubin, the affiliation was not just about the benefits of a business relationship with Steward.

"Having known some of Steward's leadership team for many years, this feels more like a homecoming than a move," she said in the news release.

Chris Barton, divisional president at Steward Partners, said that his firm was thrilled to welcome Plaza Advisory Group under its new affiliate offering.

"We know that different advisors have different needs and ways of running their business, and we couldn't be happier to be able to provide a model which accommodates any advisor considering independence," he said in the news release.

The Plaza Advisory Group affiliation is not only the first under the new 1099 model, but the first in Steward’s history to bring $1 billion or more in client assets to the firm, a spokesman confirmed.

The 1099 affiliation model classifies affiliating advisors as self-employed independent contractors, in charge of their own business, while giving them access to the technology, compliance, resources and executive support enjoyed by full-time W-2 employees of Steward. 

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