New Name for Merged Lowry Hill, Wells Fargo Family Wealth

The joint firm-Abbot Downing, A Wells Fargo Business-will have a $50 million minimum family net worth for clients and manage about $30 billion in assets.

Lowry Hill and Wells Fargo Family Wealth-which in January announced plans to merge-said Monday that the joint organization will have a new name: Abbot Downing, A Wells Fargo Business.

The new name won't be official or appear on any correspondence until April 2012. A Lowry Hill spokesman said Thursday that the firms have already begun to integrate, and their finances will be fully merged by January 1.

In a Monday letter that was sent to clients, Lowry Hill Managing Principal James P. Steiner-who couldn't be reached for comment mid-day Thursday-said that the two firms conducted research about how to brand the combined organization and its offerings.

“Our research showed strong support for a distinct, boutique brand backed by the stability of Wells Fargo,” he said in the letter.

The combined firm's minimum family net worth for clients will be $50 million-significantly more than the current $10 million minimum for Lowry Hill clients, but all existing Lowry Hill customers will be grandfathered in, regardless of their net worth.

Minneapolis-based Lowry Hill, a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Company, manages approximately $5.2 billion in assets for nearly 300 clients. The firm has offices in Minneapolis; Chicago; Naples, Florida; and Scottsdale, Arizona. The consolidated office will start with close to $30 billion in assets under management.

Steiner-who will run the consolidated office from Minneapolis-told the Star Tribune earlier this month that the joint organization will feature a “high-touch” model similar to Lowry Hill's. “Client services will be much more significant in the areas of financial planning, tax planning, wealth transfer,” he said.

Steiner said in his Monday letter that Abbot Downing was a 19th-century premier builder of custom stagecoaches. Wells Fargo was its largest customer and used Concord stagecoaches to safely deliver customers' valuables to their final destinations. “Known for its painstaking care and the high-quality materials that went into every coach, as well as the sophistication of its drivers, Abbot

Downing became the ultimate symbol of distinction and craftsmanship,” he wrote. “We pride ourselves on the same values on which Abbot Downing was founded.”

Lowry Hill made headlines recently when two groups of its wealth managers left for other firms. Earlier this month, Indianapolis-based Oxford Financial Group announced that four former Lowry Hill wealth managers joined its Minneapolis office. A day later, New York-based Evercore Wealth Management made a similar announcement that six former Lowry Hill wealth managers joined its new Minneapolis office, which has a $5 million minimum net worth for clients.