Not all is well at Escala Partners, the wealth management outfit now partially owned by New York-listed Focus Financial Partners.
Seven senior figures including five partners have quit, jumping ship to Crestone, the former UBS wealth management division that is now owned by the Liechtenstein royal family’s LGT investment vehicle.
Among those who have decamped to Crestone over the past six weeks include plenty of big business writers, namely Paul Sealy, one of Escala’s founding partners. He has regularly been listed among the best financial advisers in the country.
Other departures from Escala – and arrivals at Crestone – including Jonathan Vickers-Willis, another regular of the rankings, Ben Potter, Matt Gavshon and Will Allen. All four were partners at Escala.
Others who have made the move include Gabrielle Coles and Nick Blakiston, both of whom were investment advisers. Sources said the pay structure at Escala was “not comparable” with other firms in the sector, particularly after the deal to sell to Focus, at the time backed by KKR, in 2019.
Two years later, LGT acquired Crestone Wealth Management – which had been spun out of UBS in 2015 – in a $475 million deal. LGT is the largest family-backed private banking and asset management group in the world.
UBS has since re-entered the wealth management sector in Australia after acquiring Credit Suisse earlier in the year. Credit Suisse’s private bank head, Michael Marr, was tapped to run wealth management for Australia, The Australian Financial Review first reported in July.
The most recent Escala accounts, for the 12 months to December 31, show the company reported a $6.1 million profit, down from $6.9 million one year earlier. It brought in investment advisory fees ofRead more on afr.com