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Ex-Wells chief Kowach’s new firm buys Tennessee broker-dealer



The firm, Wiley Bros.-Aintree Capital, is based in Nashville and has been in business since 1945.

David Kowach, former head of Wells Fargo Advisors, and his new firm, &Partners, took another step closer to coming to market last week when Kowach and his partners acquired a broker-dealer and registered investment advisor with $663.8 million in assets, according to filings with regulators.

The firm, Wiley Bros.-Aintree Capital, is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and &Partners is the new owner, according to the firm’s BrokerCheck report. Kowach is listed as CEO on the BrokerCheck profile and another former Wells Fargo executive, John Alexander, is co-president.

Alexander did not return a phone call Tuesday morning to comment. The details of the transaction are not known at this time.

Wiley Bros.-Aintree Capital is an old firm in an industry that has seen decades of consolidation and old firms disappearing. According to its BrokerCheck profile, it has been open since 1945. The broker-dealer clears with Pershing while the RIA uses both Pershing and Fidelity National Financial Services as custodians, according to regulatory filings.

InvestmentNews reported last month that Kowach and &Partners have a goal of hiring 100 “top performing Advisor Partner teams,” according to a copy of a marketing presentation about the firm.

The identities of the major investors in the new business still remain clouded, with market sources saying Kowach has raised $40 million for the new aggregator.

Kowach, who headed Wells Fargo Advisors until 2019, said last year that he was retiring. At the time, he was head of affluent at Wells Fargo. Alexander was head of the divisional network at Wells Fargo Advisors when he left the firm and second to James Hays, head of Wells Fargo Advisors, at the time. Hays also left Wells Fargo last year.

The financial advice industry is replete with RIA aggregators and roll-ups like the new &Partners, with aggregators steadily gaining traction by buying so-called breakaway brokers, or financial advisors who leave Wall Street banks to work as part of a smaller firm or an independent RIA. And there are plenty of examples of executives leaving a major firm, sitting on the sidelines to wait out their noncompete agreements, then reentering the financial advice industry.

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