$4.5 Billion Private Banker Team Joins RIA Founded by Wells, BofA Alums



A private banking team that advised on $4.5 billion in client assets at Bank of America has left to join Fidelis Capital, an independent wealth management firm launched a year ago by former Wells Fargo and Bank of America advisors.

The five-person team, which works mostly with ultrawealthy families and some institutions, will staff a new Fidelis office in Washington, D.C. The group includes Christopher Tate, wealth strategist; Michael Sellers, portfolio manager; Benjamin Hilyard, fiduciary specialist; Aaron Wall, portfolio manager; and Ashley Connor, client service associate.

They made the move because they wanted more control over the number of clients they work with and the range of services and investments they can offer, according to Tate and Sellers. At Fidelis, they will limit themselves to 25 clients per advisor, enabling themselves to dedicate more time per client, the advisors say. Previously they could be assigned upward of 100 clients or more.

“Fidelis represents a unique opportunity for ourselves and our clients,” Sellers says. “We looked at other large banks, wirehouses, and other RIAs. The one theme that came up was that the problems we encountered at our former institution were systemic across the industry. Too many clients for too few advisors.”

Sellers also says other firms suffer from “narrow solution sets.” Tate says Fidelis clients will have access to a wider range of investments and services. “If a client wants or needs a loan, at Fidelis we can look at as many banks as we need to until we find the right one for their needs,” he says.

Tate, Sellers, and their colleagues join hundreds of advisors and private bankers who have left big banks to join the independent advisor sector. The team considered launching their own RIA, but opted to join Fidelis because they like the management team, whose members have past experience working in private banking.

Sellers, who has 20 years of experience in financial services, adds that this career move will be their last. “The fact that the four of us are partners in Fidelis means this won’t be a five-year endeavor,” he says. “We’re going to be here for the entirety of our careers.”

Fidelis has additional offices in Dallas and Tampa. It was formed in August 2022 by two groups of wealth advisors who previously worked at Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Those advisors oversaw a combined $6 billion in client assets at their prior employers, they said at the time of their departure.

Private bankers typically don’t take as high a percentage of clients with them when they transfer firms as financial advisors.

Fidelis had $602 million in assets under management, according to its latest Form ADV filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Image by: Fidelis Capital



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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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