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Ameriprise nabs $354M advisors from Wells Fargo, Commonwealth

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Ameriprise has landed two advisors managing $354 million in combined client assets, adding to Wells Fargo’s recent losses and notching a rare reverse breakaway from independent firm Commonwealth Financial Network.

Former Wells Fargo advisor Michael Huffman has joined Ameriprise with approximately $219 million in client assets, according to the regional firm. He joined the firm in Mesa, Arizona. Huffman began his career at Kober Financial and has 25 years of experience, including 18 years at Wells Fargo, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Commonwealth’s Heath Bartlett managed $135 million in assets, according to his new employer. Bartlett joined the firm's employee channel in Lexington, South Carolina. He became an advisor in 2002 at W.C. Smith & Company. Bartlett worked at LPL Financial before spending six years at Commonwealth, per FINRA BrokerCheck. He is joined by client associates Andrea Hallas and Fred Johnson.

The new hires said they were attracted by the firm’s investment platform and technology.

“The core investment options and flexibility allow me to work with clients and run my business in a way that positions us for growth,” said Huffman in a statement.

Bartlett said that with Ameriprise, his team will expand their “client-facing technology and investment strategy options.”

Wells Fargo confirmed Huffman’s move and provided no additional comments. A spokeswoman at Commonwealth said the firm wished Bartlett the best.

Like other regional firms, Ameriprise has been poaching talent from wirehouses amid their weakening recruiting efforts. It added a $143-million Merrill Lynch team last month. Among the big four, Wells Fargo, entangled with fake account and data security scandals, has suffered from broker attrition. It lost advisors managing at least $1.6 billion in the past month to firms like RBC, Baird, and Raymond James, according to hiring announcements.

Ameriprise has also picked up advisor talent in the independent channel. For example, the firm recently landed a $172-million team from Mid Atlantic Financial Management.

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