Press Release

Fourth Former Broker Team Joins Focus Financial Partners

-New Firm Plans to Leverage Focus to Execute M&A Strategies in the Greater D.C. Metro Area-

New York, NY – October 4, 2016 – Focus Financial Partners (‘Focus’), a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms, today announced the launch of XML Financial Group (‘XML’), a registered investment adviser (‘RIA’) headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. XML is led by Brett Shane Bernstein, CFP® and Robert Kantor, former advisors at the independent broker-dealer LPL Financial.

Ranked as one of the largest LPL firms nationally by production, XML has maintained a strong track record of organic growth over the past decade. As the newest Focus partner firm, XML plans to accelerate the firm’s regional expansion through M&A activities in the greater Washington, D.C.-metro area as well as up and down the Eastern seaboard.

Co-founders Mr. Bernstein and Mr. Kantor formed their friendship while working as financial advisors at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc. in the early 2000’s. In 2004, the pair left Merrill Lynch to form XML Financial Group in partnership with LPL Financial. Over the past twelve years, they have continued to grow XML’s regional presence, including the addition of an office in Vienna, Virginia in 2013.

Mr. Bernstein and Mr. Kantor will remain as Managing Partners of XML. Joining them are 15 professionals, each of whom has an average of 10 years’ industry experience. The team is committed to providing financial planning and wealth management services to high net worth individuals, families, non-profit organizations and 401(k) plans in the local communities.

“We are excited to bring our solid combination of Wall Street and independent broker-dealer experiences to the independent RIA space,” said Mr. Bernstein, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of XML. “Central to our growth has been our ability to adapt to an ever-changing market, and our ability to build trust with our clients over the years. We have been looking for a partner who could help us take the firm to the next level. Focus turned out to be a perfect fit for us because of the superb access to capital and expertise in M&A and value-add growth support it provides.”

“Brett and Rob have always served their clients’ best interests while also challenging themselves to break new ground in business development,” said Justin Ferri, Managing Director at Focus. “They were able to build a successful business on their own, and we are excited to partner with and support outstanding entrepreneurial advisors like Brett and Rob as they embark upon the next stage of growth for their firm.”

XML’s transition was completed with the help of Focus Independence, a program designed to help advisory teams currently associated with wirehouses and broker-dealers to build their own fully independent wealth management businesses. The program offers a suite of services in technology, operations, marketing, legal and compliance. This is the sixth firm to join Focus in 2016.


About Focus Financial Partners

Focus Financial Partners is a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms. Focus provides premier access to best practices, resources, and continuity planning for its partner firms who serve individuals, families, employers and institutions with wealth management, benefit 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 XML Financial Group

XML Financial Group is an independent financial services and wealth management firm, with offices in Maryland and Virginia. The financial consultants at XML deliver a first-class experience that addresses asset titling and estate planning needs, philanthropic planning, tax planning, comprehensive insurance planning, retirement planning (including plan design assistance and forecasting), and traditional investment management. For more information, please visit


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Daijing Lin, 646 775 6412

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