Hornor, Townsend & Kent is both a registered investment advisor and a broker-dealer. Commonly called HTK, the firm serves as the home office to lots of independent advisors, according to its website. So as a retail client, you’d likely not have communications directly with the firm, except for an occasional notice required by law or information verification request. Instead, your communications would be with your investment advisor representative (IAR) and the holder (or custodian) of your assets.
This firm is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Most assets are managed on a non-discretionary basis. IARs at the firm are also registered broker-dealer representatives and licensed insurance agents.
Hornor, Townsend & Kent Background
HTK has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment advisor since 1999. It is also registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and a member of the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC).
The firm is is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. Being part of such a large company, HTK has many affiliations. They include: HTK Insurance Agency, Inc.; Penn Mutual Asset Management, LLC; Penn Series Fund, Inc.; The Penn Insurance & Annuity Company; PIA Reinsurance Company of Delaware; Advisory Resource Group, LLC; Janney Capital Management LLC; Janney Montgomery Scott LLC; Longevity Insurance Company; Pillar Wealth Advisors, LLC; Vantis Life Insurance Company of New York; Vantis Life Insurance Company and Wealth Development Strategies Investment Advisory, Inc.
Hornor, Townsend & Kent Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
As noted earlier, HTK doesn’t serve clients directly. It provides services to IARs, who in turn work with individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. The vast majority of clients do not have a high net worth.
The firm does not have a set account minimum for most services, including financial planning. Certain accounts in the wrap fee program may have minimums ranging from $10,000 to $75,000, though they may be waived.
Services Offered by Hornor, Townsend & Kent
IARs offer financial planning services that include either a full financial analysis or an analysis of a specific area. Clients are then free to implement the recommendations or not. They are also free to continue working with the IAR or not.
IARs also offer portfolio monitoring services, consulting services, wealth management services and retirement planning consulting services. They do not manage investments, but will recommend third-party money managers based on client needs and goals, under HTK’s third-party asset manager (TPAM) programs. The firm has a wrap fee program sponsored by Betterment, called HTK Smart Journey Program.
Additionally, as a broker-dealer, HTK offers mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), real estate investment trusts (REITS), business development companies (BDCs) and other general securities. As an insurance agent, it offers fixed indexed annuities, variable annuities and variable life insurance products.
Hornor, Townsend & Kent Investing Philosophy
IARs use various methods of analysis to determine investing strategies for clients. These strategies then inform the recommendation of a TPAM program. Generally, IARs may use technical and fundamental analyses, asset allocation strategies and investment strategies concentrated on a specific sector or industry.
Fees at Hornor, Townsend & Kent
The fee for financial planning is negotiable and can be a flat fee or on an hourly basis. If it’s on an hourly basis, the fee will generally not exceed $1,000 per hour. Consulting fees will generally not exceed $150 per month.
The fee for portfolio monitoring is also negotiable. It’s generally based on assets under management (AUM), though the firm doesn't publish its specific fee schedule. For HTK’s wrap fee program, the HTK’s fee is up to 1.75% of AUM.
What to Watch Out For
In its most recent SEC filings, Hornor, Townsend & Kent reported six legal or disciplinary actions on its SEC record. As a result of these disclosures, the firm paid fines and submitted to censure on multiple occasions.
HTK’s many affiliations can present potential conflicts of interest. Similarly, IARs who have multiple roles (broker-dealer representatives and insurance agents) may have conflicts of interest. When receiving recommendations from your IAR, be sure to ask what they are based on and whether and how the advisor and firm may benefit from your following them. As a fiduciary, your advisor is still obligated to act in your best interest, though.
Opening an Account with Hornor, Townsend & Kent
If you're interested in opening an account with Hornor, Townsend & Kent, you can connect with the firm on LinkedIn. You can also reach out over the phone at (215) 957-7300.
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.
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