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Fired star UBS advisor starts second act with Dynasty

Dismissed from UBS in April, a former top advisor is starting a second act as an independent advisor backed by Dynasty Financial Partners.

The wirehouse discharged Craig Findley, now CEO of Venture Visionary Partners, for allegedly violating firm policies involving training and outside activities, according to the firm's note in his FINRA BrokerCheck record. The matter was non-sales and non-client related.

“I acknowledge that I violated firm policy when I failed to advise management that my assistant had taken a training module for me. However, I did not intentionally violate firm policy nor was I ever warned, put on heightened supervision or subject to any type of progressive discipline for this action,” Findley said in a response included in his BrokerCheck record.

Through a spokeswoman, Findley declined to discuss the matter further. A UBS spokesman also declined to comment.

An advisor 26 years, Findley has no other disclosures on BrokerCheck.

Findley has been listed on a number of top advisor lists, including those of Barron’s and Forbes.

The UBS Group AG logo sits illuminated on the bank's skyscraper offices at dusk in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Frankfurt's efforts to attract bankers escaping Brexit are in danger of losing momentum. Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg
The UBS Group AG logo sits illuminated on the bank's skyscraper offices at dusk in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Frankfurt's efforts to attract bankers escaping Brexit are in danger of losing momentum. Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

His multistate UBS team of 36 professionals had AUM as $6.08 billion as of Oct. 1, 2018, according to Barron's. The group caters to 1,765 client households with an average net worth of $10 million, according to Barron’s. Most of his former team, Touchstone Wealth Management, remains at UBS, including Managing Partner Kenneth J. Wise.

The Dynasty announcement about Findley’s new firm listed its AUM as $1.5 billion.

Venture Visionary Partners uses Schwab Advisor Services for custodial support, according to Dynasty. The firm is comprised of 11 team members, including former UBS employees Robert Retzloff, COO; Brian Funkhouser, managing director of investments and retirement plan consulting; and John O’Brien, director of retirement plan consulting.

In a statement announcing his new firm, Findley pointed to what he sees as the benefits of independence. “We will now be able to evaluate decisions from a different perspective and seek out optimal solutions, regardless of where the solutions reside. Leveraging Dynasty’s capabilities will allow us to tap what we believe to be the best resources and capabilities through their open architecture platform.”

“Craig has considerable stature in the industry and we are excited to partner with him and his team as they move to independence,” Shirl Penney, CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners, said in a statement.

For Dynasty, it’s the latest former wirehouse team to set up an independent practice with its support. In April, the firm helped a $6 billion Morgan Stanley team break away from the wirehouse. It was one of the largest advisor moves of the year.

To attract more breakaway brokers, Dynasty recently unveiled plans to offer a recruiting deal equivalent to 100% of their trailing 12-month revenue. In exchange, brokers give 35% of their revenue over an eight-year period to Dynasty. That fee also covers loan interest, regular principle servicing and access to Dynasty’s services package.

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