The former chief operating officer of what was once the largest third-party marketing firm for banks has joined Kehrer Saltzman & Associates, a consulting company for the financial advice industry.

Jonathan Gabriel was hired as a senior associate and will assist the firm with bank broker-dealer operations, due diligence on registered investment advisors and financial analysis, Kehrer Saltzman announced Tuesday.

Gabriel previously held a senior position with FinPro, a regional management consulting firm focused on capital markets activity for community banks.

From 1991 to 2001, Gabriel served as the chief operating officer of MDS Bankmart, then the largest third-party broker-dealer in banks, according to Kehrer Saltzman. While at Bankmart, Gabriel also served as president of the broker-dealer for Star Bank, which morphed into Firstar Bank, which became U.S. Bank, before finally deciding to internalize its broker-dealer functions. Similarly, he served as president of the broker-dealer for Fleet Bank and its predecessor institutions before it brought the broker-dealer function in house.

Bankmart was acquired by an affiliate of Mellon Bank in 2001 and no longer exists, Gabriel said in an e-mail.

“We are extremely pleased to add someone of Jon’s experience and reputation to our team,” Steve Saltzman, the managing principal of Kehrer Saltzman, said in a statement.

Prior to joining Bankmart as chief operating officer, Gabriel was a senior executive at two savings banks. After leaving Bankmart, he consulted for an affiliate of Lockwood before joining Kenneth Kehrer Associates, a predecessor of Kehrer Saltzman that was acquired by LIMRA, an industry-funded research group. 

“Jon was responsible for our due diligence practice and our VAwatch service, and a key participant in our projects to evaluate whether to start or maintain a broker-dealer in a bank or credit union,” Saltzman said of Gabriel’s contribution to Kenneth Kehrer Associates.

The two men have worked together for more than 20 years, Gabriel noted in the firm’s announcement. “Ken and his colleagues have defined and shaped the bank investment sector since its infancy and it is a wonderful opportunity to work for such a singular organization,” Gabriel said.