Three breakaway Morgan Stanley Smith Barney advisors—Greg Erwin, King Martin and Alan Rexius—opened Sapient Private Wealth Management, a fee-based registered investment advisor, on Oct. 14.

At MSSB the team managed over $500 million for around 450 high-net-worth clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. The new firm is based out of Eugene, Ore.

Erwin said the team made the decision to go independent at the beginning of the year, a process that took them more than nine months, but they expect to bring 90% or more of assets with them to the new firm.

Erwin says the biggest reason for the move is that the team wanted “control over our own destiny.” The advisors also wanted to be able to more clearly differentiate themselves from the “huge firm” they represented. “All the mergers over the years took us away from our focus on our high-net-worth clients,” Erwin says. “That’s why we sought independence.”

Sapient will use Fidelity as its primary custodian.

 

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