UBS $1.2 Billion Wealth Team Breaks Away to Open Firm in Florida

Matt Kilgroe and his team have left UBS Group AG, where they managed $1.2 billion in client assets, to start Cyndeo Wealth Partners in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Kilgroe, 54, spent 21 years at Merrill Lynch before moving to UBS in St. Pete, where he worked for eight years. While Cyndeo has a number of old land-owning Florida families as clients, its seven advisers also work with corporate executives, business owners and professional athletes in about 40 U.S states, he said.

“The reason for the move was a combination of succession planning and looking at the younger generation,” Kilgroe said in an interview. “Whether it’s social media or podcasts, from a marketing standpoint it’s night and day in terms of what you can when do you’re on your own versus being in a wirehouse.”

A UBS spokesman declined to comment.

Last year saw a regular flow of teams leaving big banks to set up their own operations. Smaller firms such as Rockefeller Capital Management also lured staff as the number of wealthy people in the U.S. -- and the amounts they control -- soared. The pace has slowed as the global pandemic spread to the U.S., and this is one of the few moves to be announced since the lockdowns began.

Kilgroe’s team is relatively young -- two in their 50s, two in their 40s and three in their 30s-- but the firm is also interested in appealing to advisors who may eventually want to retire in Florida, he said.