In a rare move back to employee advisory channels, two independent advisor teams that managed more than $200 million in combined assets left LPL and Commonwealth Financial for Raymond James.

LPL advisors John Sedberry and Zachary Jones, who managed $93 million in assets and generated $1.25 million in annual revenues, joined Raymond James & Associates in San Diego, according to the firm. A second team, advisors Marta Shen and A.K. Mashhoon, also moved to Raymond James from Commonwealth Financial, where they generated annual revenues of $1.1 million.

It was a rare independent-to-employee move, recruiters say.

"It is unusual. [But] it's more common than it used to be," says Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants.

Sarch says that the employee broker-dealers know that they can't ignore the independent space as they once did. He says that Raymond James & Associates might be appealing to independent advisors in part because they put in writing that the advisor owns the book of business.

Rob Blevins, president of Rowlette Executive Search, says that while the momentum has been towards the independent space, some advisors find that it is not a good fit for them and look to move or return to an employee channel model.

"It is rare, but it does happen. It depends on the advisors on their circumstance," Blevins says.

He adds, "It's like saying the alphabet backwards. It's not impossible, but it could be difficult."


Prior to LPL, Sedberry worked at Wachovia and Wells Fargo Advisors, according to FINRA records.

"During our due diligence process, we considered eight different firms and focused our efforts on finding the firm and model that would best suit our business and clients," said Sedberry said in a statement.

He said that they chose Raymond James in part because of "the flexibility to build a business that works for us, and the understanding that we as advisors own our book of business."

Kevin Monaco, the firm's San Diego complex manager, said that while his branch had recruited both wirehouse and regional advisors, Sedberry and Jones were the first from the independent channel.

"I think that speaks to the breadth and depth of the Raymond James platform," Monaco said in a statement.

Sedberry started his career in 2001 with WM Financial Services, according to FINRA records. He joined Wachovia in 2007, which later merged with Wells Fargo. Jones joined LPL in 2009.

Gretchen Ludwig, senior registered client service associate, also moved with the team to Raymond James.

In the second move to Raymond James, Shen and Mashhoon managed about $109 million in client assets while at Commonwealth Financial.  The team operates as Spring Street Financial of Raymond James and is based in Atlanta. Shen and Mashhoon report to Rob Larmore, North Atlanta branch manager.

Shen had been at Commonwealth since 2005, according to FINRA records. Prior to that, Shen worked at Ameriprise. Mashhoon had been at Commonwealth since 2007, the records show.

Also moving with the team is marketing coordinator Pavani Reddy.


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