Journey Strategic Wealth Adds First Tuck-in Team

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Journey Strategic Wealth, the new registered investment advisor/partnership launched earlier this year, has recruited its first tuck-in, adding financial advisor Kristin Bartlow and her team, which brings $180 million in client assets, from Northwestern Mutual.

Journey was founded in January by financial advisors and former Dynasty Financial Partners executives Michael Brown and Brian Flynn, along with practice management coach Penny Phillips, founder of Thrivos Consulting. The addition of Bartlow’s team brings its assets under management to about $2.7 billion.

Bartlow and her team, which includes Brett Agnew, Kevin D. Rinow, and Adrienne Braccia Conrad, will lead Journey’s San Francisco office and helps the firm establish a West Coast presence. The team will outsource all of their operations, including billing, human resources and payroll, to Journey.

Phillips said Bartlow chose Journey after looking at 15 different RIAs and independent platforms.

“What was missing for her in that discovery process was, the fact that even with technology and brand-name recognition under some of these bigger platforms, there was still this requirement for the advisor to also be the business owner, run a P&L and hire,” Phillips said. “She really was looking for a partner that would enable her to spend the majority of her time just working with clients and advising, which is what she really loves to do and is talented at. What we were building made perfect sense for her.”

Journey, based in Summit, N.J., is structured as a hybrid RIA, with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments as the broker/dealer, but the model is a sort of spin on the aggregator approach. They are looking to tuck in advisor teams from all over the country, and will provide more services to advisors than the typical RIA, doubling down on practice management consulting. Journey will add other coaches shortly with different types of practice management expertise. Phillips’ specialty is human capital management.

The firm recently added Mark Lebida, former chief investment officer at Avestar Capital, as its new director of investments.