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Wealth management firm here opens new office in Florida

EDWARDSVILLE – Visionary Wealth Advisors announced today its first expansion outside the greater St. Louis area.

The firm, founded in March by Brett Gilliland of Edwardsville and Tim Hammett of Fenton, Mo., added Miami advisors, Chuck Downs and Ricardo Ludert, both of whom have long-established practices in South Florida.

Downs and Ludert were managing directors at Northwestern Mutual offices in Miami and Coral Gables respectively, and had recently partnered to form an independent firm, when they made the decision to join Visionary.

“I’ve known Brett for years and we were both in the same stages of wanting to be independent of a large corporation,” Downs said. “We had a very similar vision and goals for the type of firm we wanted to open. When Brett and Tim founded Visionary, Ricardo and I realized we’d just be duplicating their efforts if we started our own firm. It became clear that we’d be stronger as collaborators rather than competitors.”

Visionary Wealth Advisors is an independent Registered Investment Advisor offering various  aspects of financial planning and wealth management, including retirement, college and estate planning, life, disability insurance and small business retirement plans.

RIAs operate on a fee structure, based on assets under management, creating the incentive to provide advice purely in the client’s best interest, the company said

Visionary launched with the goal of going national within one year and doing so by hiring exceptionally qualified advisors, and acquiring or merging with firms that share the same vision. Miami is Visionary’s first expansion outside the St. Louis area, and it’s the firm’s second major addition. Earlier this month, Visionary added Meridian Financial Advisors, a well-established Edwardsville firm founded by Scott Carson, that had served high net-worth clients in the area for 15 years.

At the same time, Visionary and First Clover Leaf Bank formed an affiliation to provide financial planning and wealth management services at the bank’s branches under the name First Clover Leaf Wealth Management.

Since founding five months ago with six advisors on the Leadership Team, the firm has now grown to 26 advisors with the opening of the Miami office.

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