Business Wire, Former Envestnet Executives partner with Merchant Investment Management to Launch Wealth Advisor Growth Network, September 9, 2019

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–John Phoenix and Jay Hummel, former senior executives at Envestnet, have partnered with Merchant Investment Management to launch Wealth Advisor Growth Network (WAGN). The company is focused on establishing new, optimizing existing, and growing independent wealth firms as well as key service provider companies.

The company relies on the real-world experience and expertise of Hummel and Phoenix, who in addition to both being former RIA owners, were also senior leaders in the consulting and sales organizations at Envestnet and American Century Investments. “We’ve been able to sit at the center of the buildout of some of the largest aggregators, fastest growing RIA’s and have worked with hundreds of firms across the country to help them scale. Our ability to help the largest firms while also remembering what it is like to sit across from an end investor, gives us a real world view and competitive advantage.” said Phoenix.

Merchant’s Involvement in WAGN falls in clear line with their approach to date – align with smart ideas, driven by great operators, which applies to both seasoned and newer companies. Merchant Executive Chairman, Scott Prince stated “Jay and John have not only advised advisors but have also lived as operators. The WAGN idea with their vision, leadership and proven ability to execute fits into the Merchant philosophy – filling voids and enhancing what already exists with a mindset of local touch, and global reach.”

Along with providing consulting services on how to increase overall business efficiency to the broader market place, WAGN will also align with a limited number of HUB firms in unique geographies to help them operate and grow both organically and through M&A. Jay Hummel talked about the vision: “This isn’t a setup and move on approach. We won’t operate that way. Our firm will stay focused on creating continued value for each of our partners, which is why there will be a limited number of firms we focus on.” These HUB firms will operate on the same WAGN optimized infrastructure yet maintain brand independence.

Essentially, WAGN is a ‘central Nervous System’ for firms to pull on across all aspects of their day to day knowing that needs vary and business plans evolve. Phoenix added: “We’ve been there and know how difficult it is to stay current with technology and competition, while also serving clients. Our involvement will give advisors a great ‘return on time’, and also enable them to build their own individual brand alongside a true group of their peers.”

WAGN additionally will provide firms access to capital solutions, both equity and credit, to help fuel M&A.

“Jay and John have been friends for a long time, and this alignment of us all coming together formalizes our commercial partnership and further reinforces how essential the people are in all that we do – this is a people business. WAGN is great next step in our overall evolution together as we work to continually redefine existing and define new lanes in the space”, said Tim Bello, Managing Partner of Merchant Investment Management.

The company will be headquartered in Denver, Colorado. WAGN will soon be hosting its first in a series of webinars talking about how firms can fuel growth. For more information on the company and the webinar visit:

About Hummel and Phoenix: John Phoenix is the former head of institutional sales at Envestnet. Phoenix is the former CEO of M3 and Managing Director of Alexander Capital, both RIA’s he ultimately ran and sold. He is a former regional director for both Putnam and Kemper Financial Services. Phoenix is currently on the board at LibertyFi a middle and back office outsourcing business located in Birmingham, Alabama. Jay Hummel is the former head of the Personal Investor Solutions business at American Century Investments where his team serviced 600,000 clients and $40B in assets under management. He is a former Managing Director at Envestnet, former President of Lenox Wealth Management and is the author of two books published by Wiley: Success and Succession and The Essential Advisor. Hummel currently serves on the board of Compass CFO Solutions, based in New Jersey.