January 16, 2018


New York, NY – January 16, 2018 – Focus Financial Partners (‘Focus’), a leading international partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms, today announced that Cornerstone Wealth Group (‘Cornerstone’), a registered investment advisory firm headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina, joined the partnership on January 1, 2018.

With a track record of strong growth, Cornerstone has a total of eight offices in North Carolina, South Carolina and San Francisco, California. The roots of the firm trace back to 2001, when co‑founders Brian Needleman, Andy Smith and Jeff Carbone established a formal practice at Raymond James. In 2003 the group broke away to form Cornerstone Financial Partners and welcomed a fourth partner, Craig Rubrecht. Today Cornerstone counts over 15 financial advisors and investment professionals on staff. The firm has established its reputation as an exceptional provider of comprehensive wealth management services for thousands of mass-affluent and high-net-worth families across the Southeast. The firm’s retirement plan consulting division, Cornerstone Retire, is recognized as a disciplined fiduciary partner to 401(k) plans nationwide.

The firm’s latest transition was completed with the help of Focus Independence, a program designed to help advisory teams currently associated with wirehouses and broker-dealers to transition into fully independent wealth management businesses. The program offers access to a suite of services and service providers in technology, operations, compliance and marketing, and also facilitated Cornerstone’s relationship with Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, who will serve as the firm’s primary custodian.

“We had been looking for a partner who would help the Cornerstone team elevate our firm to the next level. Focus turned out to be a perfect fit for us because of its ability to provide us superb access to capital, expertise in M&A and value-add growth support,” said Craig Rubrecht, CEO and Managing Partner of Cornerstone. “Since the inception of Cornerstone, we have held ourselves to an exacting standard for providing comprehensive wealth management and retirement plan consulting services to our clients. We take pride in the trust we have built with those clients over the years, and hope to continue to build upon that foundation for organic growth.”

“We are excited to partner with and support the outstanding entrepreneurial vision of the Cornerstone team as they embark upon the next stage of their growth,” said Chris Dupuy, President of Focus Independence. “Cornerstone’s strong presence and reputation in the Carolinas make it a great platform for future M&A transactions that can bring together the fragmented RIA market in the region.”


About Focus Financial Partners

Focus Financial Partners is a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms. Focus provides superior access to best practices, resources, and continuity planning for its partner firms who serve individuals, families, employers and institutions with wealth management, benefits consulting and investment consulting services. Focus partner firms maintain their operational independence, while they benefit from the synergies, scale, economics and best practices of a market leader to achieve their business objectives. For more information about Focus Financial Partners, please visit

About Cornerstone Wealth Group

Cornerstone Wealth Group is a wealth management firm that offers comprehensive advice to individuals, families and businesses using a team-based approach. The advisors and professional staff share a passion for helping others pursue their goals. Cornerstone’s unwavering commitment to independent advice, transparency and accountability fosters client relationships that last for generations. For more information, please visit


Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® (“Fidelity”) is an independent company, unaffiliated with Focus Financial Partners and Cornerstone Wealth Group. The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and in no way represent the advice, opinions, or recommendations of Fidelity. There is no form of legal partnership, agency affiliation, or similar relationship between Fidelity and the third party companies referenced in this announcement, nor is such a relationship created or implied by the information found herein. Fidelity has not been involved with the preparation of the content supplied herein and does not guarantee or assume any responsibility for its content. Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions and Fidelity Investments are registered service marks of FMR LLC. 830847.1.0


Media Contact:

Daijing Lin

Phone: +1 646-775-6412