A team of advisors led by Margaux Fiori departed Raymond James’ independent contractor division last month to launch their own registered investment advisor, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Fiori Financial Group, that will custody assets with Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions.
The Fiori team had $350 million in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2022, but the team expects to have more than $500 million at the close of the transition, due to new client commitments, new assets coming in from existing clients, and a new advisor coming onboard.
Fiori, who has been in the industry since 1997, is joined by Chief Financial Officer Scott Verlangieri, Junior Partner and Portfolio Strategist Gabriel Levy, Chief Compliance Officer Abraham Arce, Senior Client Liaison Leslie Vigil, Director of Client Services Jessica Andujar, Executive Assistant Ashley Baker and Investment Advisor Representative Cason Beatty.
“We decided to launch our own registered investment advisor to have more flexibility to meet the complex needs of our clients in a wholly fiduciary capacity,” Fiori said in a statement. “When evaluating our options, we found that Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions encompassed everything we were looking for in a custodial relationship. We will have access to some of Wall Street’s most sophisticated wealth management solutions in a digital, open-architecture platform.”
“Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions is built to provide independent advisors with access to institutional-grade products and services,” said Bill Dalton, head of new business at Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions, in a statement.
Industry publication AdvisorHub.com first reported the move.
WealthManagement.com was the first to report in October about a $1 billion advisor team breaking away from Merrill Lynch to form Beverly Hills Private Wealth, an RIA that chose Goldman Sachs as its sole custodian.
Goldman Sachs executives said they have been an active custody provider since its acquisition of Folio Financial in September 2020 and have onboarded new RIA teams beyond the legacy Folio clients.
In June 2021, Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions scored its first custodial client since the Folio acquisition, hybrid RIA Steward Partners. In August, WealthManagement.com also reported that Steward was in the process of adding BNY Mellon | Pershing as a custodian. Steward remains a custodial client of Goldman’s.
Some published reports stated Goldman is lagging behind a deadline it had for the RIA custody service, but Goldman executives said the firm has never publicly expressed any “time line” and there is not likely going to be a ribbon-cutting type of unveiling at any specific date in the future. Instead, Jeremy Eisenstein, co-head of the RIA custody sales team within Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions, said to expect a quiet, continuous iteration of the service, in an October 2022 interview with WealthManagement.com.
“We did officially launch in September of ’20 when we acquired Folio Financial,” Eisenstein said. “Since then, we’ve been actively providing custodial services to a significant number of clients, some of which have joined us post-acquisition.
“Despite the press, we really have never set a time line,” he said. “The real reason for that is that we are and will continue to constantly evolve this platform. New capabilities and solutions will be strategically brought out to market at varying points in time.”
Eisenstein said the unit has been focused on bringing Goldman’s investment capabilities—including its institutional-level access to alternatives, lending, capital markets and its investment research and insights—to RIAs.