Arakelian Wealth Management closes the first half of 2022 with outstanding organizational growth

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – The Financial Services Network (The Network) is pleased to announce that Arakelian Wealth Management (AWM), after a record-performing 2021, has closed the first half of 2022 with outstanding organizational growth. Their success can be attributed to a base of organic growth, and two recent practice acquisitions (the first from newly retired LPL advisor, Jane Levine, and the second from San Francisco-based advisor, Nathan Ladyzhensky). AWM is a comprehensive financial planning and wealth management firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with clients throughout California and nationally.

The firm has been growing since joining LPL Financial in 2016, Arakelian reported. Despite their success, Arakelian said he remains “most proud of how we have strategically built this business by focusing on one client at a time and developing strong relationships with each of them.” While Arakelian understands that investment management is a vital part of a client’s overall financial plan, he believes that true comprehensive and holistic wealth management must also emphasize family protection through insurance, business owner and key man fortification, wealth transfer, estate planning, and charitable giving strategies. He is a life insurance advocate when the need is presented, seeing it as the most viable solution to potential financial obstacles. This differentiates Arakelian from most financial advisors, and he believes this positions him with a competitive advantage while delivering an invaluable service to his clients.

Arakelian believes AWM’s success has been by way of the quality team he has surrounded himself.  Wanda McNealy has been with the AWM team for almost 20 years and leads the administrative staff.  Wanda, combined with The Network’s Virtual Admin (VA) team, deliver clients with a responsive operational service experience. Two years ago, Arakelian also brought his daughters, Talia and Lenna, onboard as marketing, events, social media, and client service coordinators to ensure visibility and to deliver a high-touch customer experience. Rounding out his deep bench, Chris Johnson, CFP®, serves as Chief Investment Officer & Financial Advisor. Working together since 2008, Arakelian commented, “I see Chris as my right hand and an absolute integral part of my succession plan—most importantly, our clients love him.”

As a long-time affiliate of The Network, Arakelian has worked with each of the firm’s Managing Partners over the years, and says he feels they continuously have his best interests in mind and are a true partner in the growth of AWM. “Daxs [Stadujar, Managing Partner] asked me when I was first joining The Network, ‘If we were looking back five years from now, what would make you say that you made the right decision joining?’ I responded simply: ‘Like in my business, do what you say you are going to do; be there as my advocate when I need you; and if there is an advisor who is considering retiring, I would appreciate the opportunity to be introduced and potentially considered.’ I can say unequivocally that The Network has delivered and far exceeded my expectations.”

Outside of these critical elements, Arakelian also utilizes two of The Network’s six services, including the aforementioned Virtual Administration and the Portfolio Consulting (PC) teams. Virtual Admin are available to advisors looking for additional help in operational or compliance-related duties; advisors work with their assigned VA one-on-one to develop a customized partnership focused on their working style and unique needs. The PC team works with advisors to build custom portfolios reflective of their investment philosophy, based on the financial objectives of their clients. These portfolio strategies are branded to advisors’ offices and fully integrated with powerful technology platforms.

“With Chris and the rest of the AWM team, the past has been bright, but the future is even brighter,” Managing Partner of The Network, Christopher Mercado said. “With the care and compassion that they bring to their clients speaks to the steady, trustworthiness of their expansion. I see nothing but good things for their future.”

The Financial Services Network, is a group of professionals that provide services to financial professionals affiliated with LPL Financial (LPL) or Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG).

The financial consultants of Arakelian Wealth Management are registered representatives with, and Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, Inc. a registered investment advisor. Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, Inc. and Arakelian Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Mariner Wealth Advisors Continues its Expansion with the Acquisition of the Financial Services Network

July 19, 2022

Acquisition Expands Firm’s Advisor Network and Broadens Platform Offerings for Independent Financial Advisors

Overland Park, Kan. – July 19, 2022 – Mariner Wealth Advisors today announced the acquisition of The Financial Services Network (“The Network”), a national enterprise office that provides a variety of administrative, consulting, compliance and operational services for more than 400 independent financial advisors. The acquisition will expand the reach of Mariner Platform Solutions, an affiliate of Mariner Wealth Advisors that offers a suite of resources to independent financial advisors who seek to scale their businesses and focus on serving clients without the distractions of back-office responsibilities.

After the deal closes, The Network will rebrand as Mariner Advisor Network, a name that reflects the collaborative and complementary nature of both businesses and focus on bolstering the firm’s core offerings of fintech, portfolio consulting, compliance and operations, virtual administration services, and mergers and acquisitions support for independent advisors. The organization will also continue its strategic relationship with LPL Financial giving its advisors further access to the knowledge and resources of one of the nation’s leading RIA custodians and its largest independent broker-dealer.

“We launched Mariner Platform Solutions in 2020 to free independent advisors from back-office responsibilities and return them to what they do best: providing world-class financial guidance to their clients,” said Marty Bicknell, CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisors. “Today is a win for advisors who seek to spend more time advising their clients and growing their business and less time managing the day-to-day operations. The depth of experience among the professionals at The Network and the reach and expertise of LPL Financial will enable us to serve more advisors and enhance their access to some of the industry’s best back-office and consulting resources.”

The Network was founded in 1984 and has evolved over the years as an OSJ, RIA firm, and provider of support services demanded by today’s independent financial advisors. The Network is led by Daxs Stadjuhar, Christopher Mercado, and Jeremy Olen, and currently has more than 400 advisors in 20 states with $26 billion AUA. Today’s acquisition marks the next phase of strategic growth and reinforces the team’s commitment to serving the independent advisor community. The Network’s executive leadership team will remain in place and has been asked to lead the combined business offering, continuing the integration of resources and strategically expanding capabilities.

“From the day we met the Mariner team, it was clear that we shared the same advisor-centric mission and passion for helping advisors excel as business owners,” said Christopher Mercado, The Network. “The complementary nature of our expertise, solutions and advisor-centric philosophy will accelerate the expansion of our network, broaden the scope of how we work with advisors, and help advisors overcome the traditional impediments to growth. We’re thrilled to join the Mariner family and look forward to leading and growing the Mariner Advisor Network together.”

Since its inception in 2020, Mariner Platform Solutions has partnered with 33 firms with AUM totaling $2.6 billion and has over 66 advisors and 22 brands leveraging its resources. The acquisition of The Network will add over 400 advisors along with more than 50 associates who make up a highly specialized group of transition, investment, compliance and administrative support professionals dedicated to serving the needs of an elite community of independent financial advisors.

“It’s exciting when you get the chance to align your organization with a firm that shares the same vision and principles for taking care of advisors so they can take better care of their clients,” said Matthew Enyedi, Managing Director, LPL Financial. “Through our partnership with The Network and our new relationship with Mariner Wealth Advisors, we are helping advisors choose the business model, services, and technology that empower them to run a highly efficient and scalable practice.”

Polisnelli PC served as legal counsel to Mariner Wealth Advisors. PJT Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to The Network, and Haynes and Boone LLP served as The Network’s legal counsel.

About Mariner Platform Solutions
Developed in 2020 by the same team that built Mariner Wealth Advisors into the firm it is today, Mariner Platform Solutions is a fee-for-service offering providing comprehensive support, so advisors can spend more time growing their businesses and less time running it. As part of Mariner Platform Solutions, firms leverage back-office services such as operations, compliance, technology and marketing to help grow and differentiate their practice. In addition, firms can utilize the advisory solutions team, comprised of experienced in-house investment, tax, insurance, estate planning, trust and practice management professionals, to help execute customized wealth plans for clients. To find out more about Mariner Platform Solutions, visit www.marinerplatform.com.

About Mariner Wealth Advisors
At Mariner Wealth Advisors, we provide 360° advice designed to last. We focus on one thing—partnering with clients to create a financial strategy for today and beyond that’s flexible enough to change along with them. The ultimate goal? Helping clients identify what is important so they can achieve their goals—we’re committed to being here for everything life brings their way. We’ve built our firm around what our clients need. We began by offering wealth planning resources and then added services from tax planning to insurance – all under one roof. We believe this integrated approach to wealth management helps simplify our clients’ lives. Founded in 2006 with $300 million in assets under advisement (AUA), Mariner Wealth Advisors and its affiliates now advise on over $60 billion in assets¹.

¹As of 3/31/21

Oak Wealth Management Announces Recent Acquisition During Season of Growth

The Financial Services Network (The Network) announced along with Frank X. Aceves, Jr., CFP®, that Oak Wealth Management (OWM) has acquired the investment management practice of LPL Financial advisor Kathy Conlin. The acquisition comes as part of a large growth strategy for OWM, an investment management and financial planning practice based in Walnut Creek, California.

The partnership and eventual sale were the succession strategy for Conlin, who had over 40 years of industry experience, while Oak Wealth Management founder and CEO Aceves feels the acquisition is a perfect fit. “I’m thrilled for the expansion,” Aceves said. “My firm is still growing and it’s very exciting.” It’s this same enthusiasm that he brings to his clients: “My focus is on family relationships,” he said. “I am blessed to say that pre-acquisition, we service two, three, or four generations within more than one-third of our family relationships, and carry over a 99% percent retention rate.”

Because of this reputation and commitment to multigenerational trust, Aceves knew he would need to find the ideal partner when bringing a new business into his practice. When Aceves and Conlin met by chance at an airport after they both attended an LPL conference in Boston in 2018, Aceves reflects, “it was fate in motion. Kathy and I hit it off right away.” In 2019, coincidentally The Network Managing Partner Christopher Mercado reintroduced them, knowing Conlin was looking for an office and eventual retirement. The two advisors were shocked and pleased to see each other again. It was the ideal match. With any acquisition process, sometimes the details can get overlooked, so “you have to know the person you’re getting into business with,” Aceves noted. “You have to understand the sincerity behind their intent and have trust in them.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Aceves is taking over Conlin’s practice,” Mercado stated. “With their complimentary strategies and professional dedication, her clients will be in capable hands.”

The Financial Services Network (http://marineradvidev.wpengine.com), is a group of professionals that provide services to financial professionals affiliated with LPL Financial (LPL) or Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG). Advisors who are affiliated with LPL Financial as an Investment Advisor Representative and a Registered Representative oversee $8.9B of advisory assets and $8.8B of brokerage assets through LPL.

The staff and consultants of The Financial Services Network may be Registered Representatives with, and securities are offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Fee-based investment advisory services may be offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a Registered Investment Advisor or LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Both SWAG and The Financial Services Network are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Frank X. Aceves, Jr., is a registered representative with, and Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, LLC. a registered investment advisor. Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, LLC. and Oak Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Managing Partner Daxs Stadjuhar Named to the LPL Ambassador Council

The Financial Services Network is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Daxs Stadjuhar has been named by LPL Financial (LPL) as a new member of the LPL Ambassador Council. Stadjuhar is one of 60 members selected from among more than 20,000 LPL advisors and institution leaders nationwide into one of three councils designated by the members’ affiliation with LPL. The LPL Ambassador Council vision is to deepen relationships with a diverse cross-section of highly dedicated financial professionals. In bringing together these earnest, respected individuals, LPL creates a well-informed, extended advocate community. The Ambassador Council program provides a formal opportunity for advisors and institution leaders to stay closely connected to LPL’s strategic roadmap and key executives, and to share their experience, feedback, and support with peers by affiliation type.

“I view this not only as an honor, but an opportunity to further advocate and support the advisors in The Network as well as all of LPL,” said Stadjuhar. “The Network was founded as study group almost 40 years ago, and the council environment of sharing ideas and supporting advisors is at the core of our own firm’s culture.”

Council members serve a multi-year term and attend a series of in-person meetings during their tenure. They also contribute through year-round ad hoc participation supporting LPL communications, events and initiatives, and by connecting with their LPL colleagues on an ongoing basis to ensure their perspectives are brought forward.

The Financial Services Network (http://marineradvidev.wpengine.com), is a group of professionals that provide services to financial professionals affiliated with LPL Financial (LPL) or Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG). Advisors who are affiliated with LPL Financial as an Investment Advisor Representative and a Registered Representative oversee $8.9B of advisory assets and $8.8B of brokerage assets through LPL.

The consultants of The Financial Services Network are registered representatives with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Fee-based investment advisory services may be offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG) or LPL Financial.

About LPL Financial

LPL Financial (Nasdaq: LPLA) was founded on the principle that the firm should work for the advisor, and not the other way around. Today, LPL is a leader in the markets we serve,** supporting nearly 20,000 financial advisors, and approximately 800 institution-based investment programs and 500 independent RIA firms nationwide. We are steadfast in our commitment to the advisor-centered model and the belief that Americans deserve access to personalized guidance from a financial advisor. At LPL, independence means that advisors have the freedom they deserve to choose the business model, services, and technology resources that allow them to run their perfect practice. And they have the freedom to manage their client relationships, because they know their clients best. Simply put, we take care of our advisors, so they can take care of their clients.

**Top RIA custodian (Cerulli Associates, 2020 U.S. RIA Marketplace Report); No. 1 Independent Broker-Dealer in the U.S (Based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine 1996-2021); No. 1 provider of third-party brokerage services to banks and credit unions (2020-2021 Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting Annual TPM Report); Fortune 500 Company as of June 2021. LPL and its affiliated companies provide financial services only from the United States.

Throughout this communication, the terms “financial advisors” and “advisors” are used to refer to registered representatives and/or investment advisor representatives affiliated with LPL Financial LLC. We routinely disclose information that may be important to shareholders in the “Investor Relations” or “Press Releases” section of our website.

The consultants of The Financial Services Network are registered representatives with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. The Financial Services Network and LPL Financial are separate entities.

Alex Hayes Joins The Financial Services Network

The Financial Services Network (The Network), along with LPL Financial, is pleased to announce that Alex Hayes, Founder of AJ Wealth & Legacy, LLC, has joined The Network’s advisor affiliates. Alex is the Managing Partner and LPL Financial Advisor at RD’s Financial Strategies (www.rdsfinancial.com), a wealth management firm founded over 20 years ago by longtime Network affiliate, Robert Duitz. With over two decades in the Financial Services industry, Hayes has held consultant positions at some of the largest Asset Management firms in the country with Invesco, Oppenheimer Funds, and American Funds. 

Hayes cares for his clients like they are family, believing that “all relationships, both personal and professional, are founded on trust, integrity, communication,” he states. “I also believe in providing my clients with the best that technology and investing services has so we can offer a streamlined and sophisticated approach to that communication.” In the first quarter, they have made enhancement to software, including financial planning and risk assessment tools, as well as hiring a professional team, The Network’s Portfolio Consulting Services (PCS). The PCS team exists to provide advisors like Hayes with sophisticated and customized investing strategies, allowing Hayes’ internal team to focus on best servicing their clients. “We’re not here to sit on our laurels,” Hayes explains. “We are here to grow and help our clients succeed.”

“When you work with Alex you can expect a professional dedicated to helping clients define and pursue their objectives with candor and integrity,” stated Christopher Mercado, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Strategist of The Network. “As Bob Duitz looks to retire, I am confident he chose the best possible successor.  Alex and Bob’s personal and investing philosophies align fantastically, allowing their clients to continue receiving the high-level service experience they have been accustom.”

The Financial Services Network (The Network) http://marineradvidev.wpengine.com, is a national enterprise office that provides a variety of administrative, consulting, compliance and operational services to its partner advisors.

The consultants of The Financial Services Network are registered representatives with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. The Financial Services Network and LPL Financial are separate entities.

Alexander Hayes is a registered representatives with and securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.