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An advisor with almost two decades of experience tending to well-heeled clients and their assets has completed a career round trip from Fifth Avenue to Park Avenue and back again as he joins an UHNW HighTower Advisors firm.

Edward Butler joined RDM Financial Group in December as executive director in its New York office. The firm also has offices in Boca Raton, Fla. and Westport, Conn. 

Previously, Butler served as managing director and senior advisor in the Park Avenue office of Greenwich, Conn.-based FieldPoint Private, where he advised on more than $1 billion of assets, according to that firm. See: How WilmerHale is positioning its $3.3B-AUA RIA as outsourcer and owner in a $750-billion market.

Ron Weiner

Before that, he spent 15 years at Bessemer Trust, a multifamily concern founded in 1907 with offices around the country and with headquarters in Rockefeller Center.  See: In the control freak world of family offices, cutting the private equity firm out of the deal has an alluring logic -- and pitfalls

At RDM, Butler will provide service and support to existing clients as well as legal and tax associate relationships throughout all of RDM’s locations.

Ron Weiner founded RDM in 1990. In 2015, with the firm at $700 million of AUM, he signed on with Chicago-based HighTower and established a base in HighTower's Fifth Avenue NYC headquarters. See: In her words: A former Goldman Sachs star gets into the depths of winning UHNW clients, without being in that tax bracket.

The "get" was greeted as something of a coup by HighTower's founder and CEO. "When a highly distinguished independent advisor who has run his own firm for many years decides to become a partner with us, it is a powerful validation of our platform, our brand and our financial strength," Elliot Weissbluth said at the time. 

Butler is a graduate of Marist College where he earned a BS in finance and Cornell University where he obtained an MBA. Butler has his FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses and is a Personal Trust and Tax Level III graduate from the Cannon Financial Institute.

"Ed has a history of providing a completely client-focused, ‘do whatever is right approach,’ which has been a key hallmark of RDM for the past 29 years," says Weiner, now managing director and partner, in a statement. "We take pride in being a nationally recognized firm for delivering a concierge level of service for each and every client."

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

September 17, 2009 — 3:06 PM


Thanks for expounding on these points. It would be interesting to know more about how these teams form, especially if its true that they span multi-offices. I’d be interested to know which Pershing study addresses your point.

Your primer on the difference between an IBD and a non-IBD is also interesting. The lines are often blurred and your description makes it possible to get an intuitive sense of where they diverge.

Frederick Van Den Abbeel

Frederick Van Den Abbeel

September 17, 2009 — 10:02 AM


Thank – You for a wonderful article. As the Executive Vice – President of an RIA Custodian-Brokerage firm myself (Trade-PMR, Inc.) — I echo your findings. In particular, one of the reasons wirehouse firms help Advisors form “team practices” is the impact of joining such teams have on the broker protocol. These team practices typically have agreements which take precedent over the protocol according to a study I read produced by Pershing, LLC.

I believe more Advisors affiliated with the LPL’s of the world will continue to ponder becoming truly independent. I call it the “Broker-Dealer” phenomenon which I explain as the following: imagine Brooke if you were running your own B/D firm and had, for example, 5 Registered Representatives whom you know quite well in terms of their business practices, clientele, etc. As the Principal, you can probably allow for a lot of flexibility for these Reg Reps to structure and run their practice. Now, imagine you are the principal of a B/D firm that has 1,500 Reps. Can you offer the same level of flexibility? As B/D’s get larger, they tend to build their systems on the 'lowest common denominator’ compliance. In other words, build the B/D policies and “house rules” on the worst among us which has a very unfortunate effect on the good and ethical rep affiliated with the same firm. This is most likely one of the largest factors why a Reg Rep goes RIA. He/She is tired being lumped in with the bad apples and being subjected to non-sensical broker-dealer “house rules” which are impacting his/her business.

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