Moran Wealth Management (MWM), a Naples, Fla.-based investment management practice with over $4 billion of assets under management, has exited Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network LLC to launch as an independent firm, the company announced.

“As an independent RIA, we can prioritize the needs of our clients and our unwavering standard of excellence,” MWM founder, Chairman, CEO and CIO Tom Moran said in a prepared statement. “Embarking on this entrepreneurial journey is a critical step towards achieving our long-term vision as a true fiduciary for our clients.”

Founded three decades ago, Moran’s team has grown to more than three dozen employees, many invested in the company’s growth as equity partners. One of those equity partners is Donald Drury, president of MWM. In a news release annoucing the launch, Drury said that a driving factor in making the decision to become an RIA was his team’s commitment to act in the best interests of their clients.

“The extensive capabilities of our team are rooted in the expertise of its founding partners and associates,” Drury said. “As a result, the MWM team has a keen focus on client experience, balanced by a combination of cutting-edge technology and financial planning solutions, and deep expertise.”

In an email, Moran said his clientele consisted of high-net-worth individuals, families, and institutions.

“As a 100% fee-based fiduciary, independent RIA, we can prioritize the needs of our clients by offering them a broader array of investment options, including the implementation of a more robust hedging strategy,” Moran said.

Moran said that one of the initial changes MWM clients would notice upon the practice becoming an independent RIA was the introduction of a new client portal.

“In the short term, they will notice our increased productivity due to our investment in a cutting-edge technology suite,” he said. “Over time, our clients will also benefit from a broader array of alternative investments and a greater suite of services designed to provide deeper insight into their families’ financial lives.” 

After 30 years with a wirehouse, Moran said he viewed the transition to independent RIA as both a personal and business accomplishment.

“Becoming an independent RIA is a major milestone for us," he said in the email. "This next chapter signifies continued growth, while always putting our clients first.”

Pershing LLC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon, will serve as MWM’s custodian.