Worcester, Mass.-based financial advisors Sarah Berry and Michael Machnowski have transitioned from the Wells Fargo employee channel to its independent channel as The Berry Group, according to a news release.

The partners manage $575 million in client assets and bring more than 60 years of combined experience to their new role as founders of their own firm. 

The Berry Group team also includes wealth advisor Oliver Cragan and Senior Client Services Officer Cathy McGinty.

The Berry Group has engaged TradePMR for technology and custodial support. Wells Fargo Clearing Service, LLC will provide securities execution and brokerage clearance services under the trade name First Clearing.

Financial Advisor asked Berry and Machnowski to respond for comment regarding their decision to go independent, while remaining with the same firm to which they first affiliated as employees.

FA: What does Wells Fargo offer its advisors, both as employees and as independents, that you believe is key to helping grow your business?

Berry:  Wells Fargo Advisors has always provided great research and educational tools, ample sources of advice, and people to help with technology and back-office functions. That type of support has helped us have more time to work with our clients and grow our book of business as Wells Fargo Advisors employees. We still have access to all that, (but) we also have new tools and support from TradePMR.

FA: What made you both decide to go independent at this time, while still remaining affiliated with Wells Fargo?

Berry:  When Wells announced the option to go independent with this “smooth support scenario,” we applied immediately.

Machnowski:  We’ve been studying the RIA model for a while now and determined that going independent was the best way for us to build our own culture.

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