Steward’s 1099 affiliation model differs from others in the RIA industry by also providing independent advisors with equity in Steward Partners, which full-time affiliating employees receive, too. Additionally, the model allows affiliating advisors to run their own office and to receive ongoing local compliance and operations support.

The launch of the 1099 affiliation model was made possible in April 2019, when Steward Partners received a $50 million minority investment from The Cynosure Group, an independent alternatives asset manager and advisor in Salt Lake City that makes long-term investments on behalf of families, foundations and other institutions. The investment made Steward one of the first RIAs to provide its team with a meaningful liquidity event in such a short timeframe since launching, giving the firm strong momentum into 2020 for further growth.

According to Steward CEO and co-founder Jim Gold, who is based out of the firm's New York City office, some of the new investment money from Cynosure was earmarked for recruiting new advisors. With the subsequent introduction of a 1099 affiliation model last year, Steward significantly widened its appeal to an even greater number of advisors, with Plaza Advisory Group now being the first to affiliate under it.

“Our new affiliate model was created with entrepreneurial advisors in mind,” Gold said last year in a news release. “We know that different advisors have different needs, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand and evolve our business by offering (them) more options as they consider the move to independence.”

Gold also said last year that the new affiliation model allowed anyone considering independence or already independent to join Steward.

The firm has now made good on that promise with its first 1099 affilation.

"This is an exciting day for Steward as we celebrate numerous milestones,” Gold said in the company’s latest press release. “We celebrate our first billion dollar plus addition, our first join in our 1099 offering, (and) our first independent hire. We couldn't think of a better group to…welcome (as) our newest partners to the Steward family."

Steward Partners, headquartered in St. Louis, is an employee-owned, independent partnership associated with Raymond James Financial Services Inc.

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