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Billion-dollar bye-byes: Which firms lost mega brokers?

Mega teams have been making waves in 2019, including the largest breakaway wirehouse team to go indie in the last five years.

UBS picked up a Goldman Sachs group that oversaw $6.6 billion while a Morgan Stanley team with nearly as much AUM — $6 billion — cut ties with the wirehouse in order to open its own RIA. The breakaway team’s AUM eclipses that of two other big breakaway groups each managed more than $4 billion and which left Morgan Stanley in 2017 and Merrill Lynch in 2018.

Wirehouses also lost top talent in recent months to regional BDs and boutique wealth managers. Stifel hired a $1 billion Merrill team for a newly opened branch in Fort Worth, Texas. And Wells Fargo lost a group managing $1.5 billion to First Republic, which has been poaching elite brokers from its larger wirehouse rivals.

To see these and other hires, career moves and executive appointments, scroll down.

To see the last roundup of hires, click here.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. logo is displayed in the reception area of the One Raffles Link building, which houses one of the Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte offices, in Singapore, on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Singapore has expanded a criminal probe into fund flows linked to scandal-plagued 1MDB to include Goldman Sachs Group, which helped raise money for the entity, people with knowledge of the matter said. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
Goldman loss, UBS gain
A team that managed $6.6 billion in client assets quit Goldman Sachs to join UBS, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Advisors Cullen Thomason and Hunter Henry, who are on garden leave, will join UBS in Dallas in July. They previously generated approximately $21 million annual revenue.

It’s the largest advisor move of the year, according to hiring announcements and FINRA BrokerCheck data analyzed by On Wall Street.

To learn more about this hire, click here.
Jason Fertitta financial advisor Americana Partners
Record $6B breakaway
A Morgan Stanley team that managed more than $6 billion quit to go independent with help from Dynasty Financial Partners, making it one of the largest advisor moves of the year so far.

The 11-member team, led by advisor Jason Fertitta, made the move in part because of what they felt was the superior technology offerings available to RIAs.

“The technology has gotten good enough in that it’s not just a lateral move for our team; it’s an upward move,” Fertitta says, noting that many vendor options available at the big firms are also available to RIAs.

To read more about Fertitta’s team, click here.
William Blair’s newest hires opened a new branch in Baltimore for the boutique wealth manager. Standing from left to right:: Hunter Purcell; Philip Rauch; Mitchell Whiteman; Robert Hopkins; Perry Bacon. Seated: Robert Oster; Darcy Carroll
William Blair lands big team for new branch
Building on its previous high-net-worth hires, William Blair recruited a $3 billion team to open a new office.

The seven-member team joined from investment management firm Brown Advisory and is based in Baltimore, according to its new employer. The group consists of advisors Perry Bacon, Darcy Carroll, Robert Hopkins, Robert Oster, Hunter Purcell, Philip Rauch, Mitchell Whiteman and Jennifer Viglucci.

The advisors made the move in part because of the company culture and resources. “In William Blair we find an independent, 84-year-old partnership that shares our focus of putting clients first and giving back to the community,” Hopkins said in a statement.

To read more about this team, click here.
U.S. Bank loses elite team to Stifel
Stifel landed a team that oversaw more than $2 billion, furthering the firm’s expansion efforts.

The group — which joined Stifel from U.S. Bank — is comprised of Scott Dolan, Jim Taylor, Tony Sausville and Mark Graham. They are based in St. Louis, where Stifel is headquartered.

Click here to read more about this move.
Merril Lynch (1) by Bloomberg
Wirehouse advisor with $2.5B joins Rockefeller Capital
Merrill Lynch lost an elite advisor to Rockefeller Capital, an independent firm.

Advisor David Higgins has been on the Top 40 Advisors Under 40 ranking by On Wall Street. He was named by Forbes as a top advisor last year. He was also a Barron’s top advisor and listed as having team assets of approximately $1.7 billion.

Higgins joined Rockefeller in Atlanta.

Click here to read more about Higgins and other Rockefeller high-net-worth hires.
First Republic bank logo Bloomberg News
Wells Fargo loses 2 elite teams to First Republic
First Republic picked up two teams managing approximately $3 billion from Wells Fargo.

In New York, First Republic hired advisors George Fuchs, David Schulman, Gregory Carafello and Chad Cohen.

Fuchs and Schulman are industry veterans, with 21 and 22 years of experience, respectively. They had been registered with Wells Fargo since 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. They both have worked at Smith Barney and Dean Witter.

A second team comprised of Peter Morimoto, Jon Jewitt and Roy Elliott Jr. joined First Republic’s San Diego office as managing directors. Marena Tufenkjian also moved with the group, joining First Republic as a vice president and wealth manager.

To read more about Fuchs and Schulman, click here. To read more about the San Diego team, click here.
Meg Sheil-Puopolo Verdence Capital financial advisor sitting photo
Big hire for $2B RIA
An advisor who oversaw $1.2 billion joined Verdence Capital, a $2 billion RIA with ambitious growth plans.

Meg Sheil-Puopolo, who previously worked at Fidelity Investments, joined Verdence in Baltimore where she will serve high-net-worth clients and families.

Sheil-Puopolo says she was drawn to Verdence because of its resources, corporate environment, fiduciary status and the opportunity to be part of something “growing from the ground up.” She knew of Verdence because of her friendship with the firm’s COO.

“I met with the team and I was really impressed with them and their unique way of doing planning. It’s really collaborative,” she says.

Click here to read more about this move.
Toby Ardoyno, Stifel’s newest hire, started his career at Merrill Lynch in 1999.
$1B team joins Stifel from Merrill
Stifel went big in the Lone Star state.

The firm opened a new branch in Fort Worth, Texas, which is staffed by two former Merrill Lynch advisors who oversaw approximately $1 billion in combined client assets, a spokesman said.

Advisors Toby Ardoyno, pictured, and Toni Rose previously were responsible for $885 million and $167 million, respectively, according to their new employer.

Ardoyno started his career at Merrill Lynch in 1999, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Rose joined the wirehouse from Cetera in 2014.

Click here to read more about this move.
Wells Fargo V3 by Bloomberg News
Indie firm snags $1B Wells Fargo group
A team responsible for $1 billion in client assets quit Wells Fargo to join a smaller rival.

Jackie Lewis and Ryan Goldenhar signed on with AdvicePeriod, an independent firm with more than two dozen advisors operating in 13 offices, according to the company. Lewis and Goldenhar are based in a new San Diego office.

Los Angeles-based AdvicePeriod has more than $2.2 billion in assets under management, according to SEC filings.

To learn more about this team’s departure, click here.
Morgan Stanley digital signage is displayed outside the company's headquarters in New York, U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Morgan Stanley is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 18. Photographer: Bess Adler/Bloomberg
$1B team returns to Morgan Stanley after UBS interlude
UBS lost two elite advisors to Morgan Stanley.

Jevin Ferguson and Daniel Marks now work at Morgan Stanley’s office in Newport Beach, California. They oversaw approximately $1 billion, according to Forbes’ best-in-state advisor ranking.

Ferguson and Marks have 18 and 19 years of industry experience, respectively, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. They had been registered with UBS since 2009, having previously worked at Smith Barney.

Marks started his career at Morgan Stanley in 1999, according to BrokerCheck.