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Big win: UBS hires $1.5B team

An illuminated company logo is displayed at a UBS Group AG bank branch in Zurich, Switzerland, on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. The spying scandal roiling Credit Suisse Group AG has also created a big headache at UBS a stone's throw away in Zurich: What to do about its star hire Iqbal Khan. Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg
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In one of the largest hires of 2020, UBS recruited a team managing $1.5 billion, according to a memo obtained by On Wall Street.

The wirehouse picked up the advisors from AllianceBernstein. Baumgarten, Dowell, Jones Wealth Management joined the firm in Dallas and is comprised of John Baumgarten, Cory Dowell, Chad Jones, Martha Greenberg, Karen Slavik and Aubrey Bolduc, according to the memo.

A spokeswoman for AllianceBernstein was unavailable for immediate comment on the group’s departure.

Although UBS has de-emphasized recruiting and advisor headcount in recent years, the new hires are representative of the firm’s focus on advisors catering to high-net-worth and ultrahigh-net-worth clients.

Starting in 2016, UBS cut back on recruiting efforts in order to shift resources elsewhere and to cut hiring costs. In 2017, UBS withdrew from the Broker Protocol, an industry accord that permits advisors to take basic client contact information when changing employers.

More often than not, wirehouses were on the losing side of these moves.
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The wirehouse’s headcount has trended downward as a result of those and other industrywide changes. But UBS continues to selectively hire advisors. In February, it picked up a Goldman Sachs team overseeing $6 billion in client assets.

Other big-ticket moves this year include a $2 billion team that left UBS for Morgan Stanley in early March and a $1.8 billion team that quit Merrill Lynch to join RBC in February.

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