Mindy Diamond: Former $2B J.P. Morgan Team on Their Move to Cresset


Historically, it was rare to find private bankers who left not only their banks but the model itself. These folks often find themselves caught between two countries: one where their businesses are tied to the bank, and the other where they value the steady stream of referrals.

Undoubtedly, banks are a great way for an advisor to build a business, but when private bankers want to make a change, they often face challenges — including concerns about asset portability, difficulties in replicating the business, additional legal risks, and so on most annoying hurdle of all: garden leave regulations.

But over the past year we’ve seen many private bankers exit the banks where they built their businesses, and some have flown new flags at Merrill, UBS and Morgan Stanley — firms that have recently expressed new levels of interest in doing so , to welcome private bankers. In contrast, others have set up their own independent companies.

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However, a third group has found a home in the new generation of multi-family offices, embracing an environment that serves ultra and high net worth clients with concierge-level services and a more entrepreneurial culture.

In this episode, we welcome two private bankers who fit into this latter category.

Kevin McGuire and Sarah Burney both hail from JP Morgan Private Bank and have built a strong business managing approximately $2 billion of ultra and high net worth individuals and families.

With over a dozen years of experience each, she and her team began to feel a conflict between what they wanted to do for their clients and what they could do under the auspices of JP Morgan. Finally, they wanted more control over how they manage customer relationships.

So they explored all their options and even the possibility of taking a more entrepreneurial path and starting their own RIA.

Ultimately, they ended up at Cresset – an employee and client-owned multi-family office founded in 2017 that aims to create a new paradigm for wealth management with world-class leadership and advisory talent.

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Cresset co-founder Avy Stein was a guest on this show in 2021. At the time, Cresset was a $12 billion company and has since exploded, more than doubling to $27 billion in assets under management at the time of this writing.

This exceptional growth demonstrates why Cresset’s value proposition resonates in the world of wealth management – particularly with Sarah, Kevin and three other members of their team at JP Morgan who joined in September 2021.

In this episode, Mindy Diamond talks to Sarah and Kevin about their journey including:

  • Life as a private banker – and the limitation of the salary bonus model for private bankers.
  • Changes you saw at JP Morgan – and what motivated you to explore your options.
  • The challenges of the transition – and how they’ve dealt with portability, gardening vacations and more.
  • The attractiveness of the Cresset model – and why it has prevailed over other companies and the option to build your own RIA.
  • The value of recommendations – and what they see in terms of the quality and flow of Cresset’s recommendations.
  • Plus, a year later, they discuss life — and how their business life has changed since their transition.

No doubt Kevin, Sarah and their team have built a strong business at JP Morgan. But like so many other advisors, they got to a point where they wanted to do more for their wealthy clients. For her, Cresset was the answer. But it was her final advice that is the best message of all: If you have faith in yourself and your ability to take care of clients, you can thrive anywhere.

It’s a great perspective to explore change – regardless of the company or model you’re building your business in.

Download a transcript of this episode…

Listen to more episodes of Mindy Diamond on Independence: A podcast for financial advisors who are thinking about change.



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