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Billion-Dollar Summer: All-Star Recruits

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It's been a blockbuster summer for recruiting.

Since the season's official start date, nine teams that oversaw about $15 billion in assets switched firms or went independent. Broaden the lens a little, and the numbers become even more impressive. A dozen teams that oversaw at least $1 billion in assets have found a new home since May.

Indeed, 2015 is shaping up to be a strong year for advisor moves.

According to On Wall Street reporting, more than 350 advisors managing about $60 billion in client assets have switched firms. By comparison, about 480 advisors managing about $57 billion in assets made a move in 2014.

Recruiters say that movement has been up recently due to contracts expiring and the strength of the deals available.

"The offers can be a real game changer for top advisors," Michael King, head of Michael King Associates in New York says.

Another notable trend: more top advisors are looking beyond the wirehouses. Some opted to go to a super-regional like Raymond James, while others went independent.

"People are seeking solutions outside the traditional," says Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants.

"I think the very big firms want their advisors to fit into boxes and when people fit outside those of those boxes, they feel uncomfortable," he says.

However, recruits also caution not to read too move into current announcements, as any move often takes weeks, if not months of preparation. If an advisor decides today to make a move because of whatever reason, the actual day of the move may not happen until January.

"There's an enormous amount of work involved," Sarch says.

He adds that there is an element of seasonality. For example, some advisors may have planned to make a move during the quieter summer months while others may be waiting until the fall having preferred to keep their vacations quiet.

In either case, almost all moves share one element: it comes down to individual advisor's needs and plans for the future.

Here are where the biggest teams moved this summer.

Mega Team Joins Morgan

Morgan Stanley picked up a Barclays team that managed $1 billion in client assets, a spokeswoman said.

Advisors Kerri Connellan and Jim Pucciarelli joined the wirehouse's New York office, reporting to branch manager Damon Gallagher.

Pucciarelli is an industry veteran, having started his career at Lehman Brothers in 1981, according to FINRA records. Connellan joined Lehman Brothers in 2001.

Morgan Nabs Billion-Dollar Team

Morgan Stanley enticed away a team managing $1 billion in client assets from Citi Private Bank, according to a spokeswoman for the wirehouse.

Advisors William Goettert and John Entenberg joined Morgan's office in Boca Raton, Fla., where they report to Complex Manager Bert White. While at Citi, the duo generated $5 million in annual production.

Goettert and Entenberg had been with Citi since 2010, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Prior to that they worked at Merrill Lynch.

RBC Grabs Mega Team From Merrill

A team that managed $1.2 billion in assets left Merrill Lynch to join RBC Wealth Management, a spokeswoman said.

Dodd Newton Koeckert and Nicholas H. Anger joined RBC's office in Stamford, Conn., where they report to Skip Morton, director of the branch. The duo now operates as the Koeckert Anger Group.

Koeckert is a 31-year industry veteran who spent his entire career at Merrill Lynch, according to FINRA records. Anger started his career at the wirehouse in 2005.

"The Koeckert Anger Group is one of the most significant hires RBC Wealth Management has brought on in the New England area," Pat Vaughan, East divisional director for RBC Wealth Management, said in a statement.

UBS Loses $1.3B Team to Morgan

Morgan Stanley said it picked up a UBS team that had $1.3 billion in AUM. The group joined Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management in Los Angeles, where the team's members report to Complex Manager Greg Laetsch.

The team's leader, Greg Fullmer, started his financial services career with Goldman Sachs in 1988, according to FINRA records. He joined UBS in 2004. Also on the team are Daniel Hawkins, Douglas Dyakon, Joel Russak, Alex London, Emma Goodman and J.B. Kalin.

Both Hawkins and Dyakon moved to UBS in 2005, from Quellos Brokerage Services and Goldman Sachs respectively. Russak joined the wirehouse in 2009. London signed on with UBS a year later.  Goodman joined the firm in 2013, and Kalin started there last year.

Merrill Team That Managed $1.4B Goes Indy

A Merrill Lynch team that oversaw $1.4 billion in client assets has gone independent with help from Dynasty Financial Partners, the firm said.

The team, based in Aventura, Fla., consists of advisors Steven Wagner and his son, Michael, as well as Ivan Hernandez. Also moving are Diana Torre, director of client services, and Cherie Cohen, director of operations.

The elder Wagner said that they made the move in order to offer their clients "a higher end, more personal level of service in a conflict-free environment." Wagner has nearly four decades of industry experience, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He started his career at J.B. Hanauer, and later worked at Smith Barney and UBS before joining Merrill in 2009.

The junior Wagner joined his father at UBS in 2006. Hernandez also started his career J.B. Hanauer in 1995. He moved to UBS in 1998. The two advisors joined the senior Wagner in making the move to Merrill in 2009.

UBS Picks Up $2B Team

A Morgan Stanley team that managed $2 billion in client assets left to join UBS, a spokesman said.

The four-member team, which operates as the Arthurs Malof Group, generated $10 million in annual revenue while at Morgan.

The group consists of advisors Glenn and Wyatt Arthurs, who are father-and-son, Chris Malof and Jay Blair. All joined UBS in Buffalo, N.Y., where they report to Jay Berube, branch manager, and Sam Messina, complex director.

Arthurs is a 32-year industry veteran, having started his career at Lehman Brothers in 1983, according to BrokerCheck. He joined Smith Barney in 1993 and stayed through that firm's merger with Morgan Stanley.

Malof started his career at Smith Barney in 1994. Blair joined them at the firm in 2001 and the younger Arthurs followed suit in 2005.

$2.4B Team Joins Raymond James

Raymond James recruited a $2.4 billion team from Morgan Stanley – the biggest in the firm's history so far, a spokeswoman said.

The newest recruits, led by advisor Don d’Adesky, are based in two Florida offices: Boca Raton and Miami.

In addition to d’Adesky, the team includes advisors W. Kristopher Lemke, Matthew Cicero, Jose Cabrera Sr., Kevin Gourrier and Ryan Weber. Also moving with the team are service associates Carmen Rivera, Marisa Breton, Joanne Novie, Vernadine Crespo and Cabrera's two children, Kristina and Jose, Jr.

The team works with high-net-worth individuals and institutions in the U.S. and Caribbean region.

D'Adesky, a Miami-native, says they made the move because of the evolving needs of their individual and institutional clients. He says that Raymond James' capabilities are well geared toward that side of his business.  For his high-net-worth clients, he says the firm has the kind of technology and open architecture that they need.

Merrill Grabs $2.9B Team From Morgan

Merrill Lynch lured away an advisor team generating $4 million in annual revenue from Morgan Stanley, a spokeswoman said.

The team, led by advisor John Mirsepahi, joined Merrill's Rockefeller Center office in New York. Mirsepahi was reuniting with the firm, after previously working for Merrill from 1999 to 2005 before leaving to join Smith Barney.

According to the latest Barron's top advisor rankings, Mirsepahi and his team managed $2.9 billion in client assets. He said he made the move because of the banking and lending capabilities available at Merrill through Bank of America, he said in a statement.

The team will report to Michael Simonds, complex director.

Also moving with the team is advisor Matthew Cali, who joined Smith Barney in 2007, investment analyst Matthew Zamora, and client associate Joanne Zaman.

Deustche Picks Up J.P. Morgan Team

A mega team jumped to Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management from J.P Morgan Private Bank. The three-member team oversaw $3 billion in assets, according to a person with knowledge of the move.

Oti Roberts joined Deutsche as a managing director and senior private banker, while Freddy Menjivar joined as director and senior investment advisor. Scott Shuffield also joined as an associate banker.

Robert and his team will be based in Miami, serving ultrahigh-net-worth clients in the firm's southeast region. The group will report to Chip Packard, co-head of wealth management in the Americas.

Barclays Group Goes Indy With Dynasty

A group with $3 billion in assets under management left Barclays to start a new firm.

Advisors Jack Petersen, James Cantelupe, Peter Lee, Tom Palecek, David Romhilt and John Scarborough launched their independent advisory firm Summit Trail Advisors with Dynasty Financial Partners. Summit's offices are located in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

In August, the newly independent firm recruited two more Barclays advisors who oversaw about $500 million in assets.

Advisor With $3.25B Goes Indy With Dynasty

A mega team left Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management to go independent with Dynasty Financial Partners, a spokeswoman said.

Former Deutsche advisor David J. La Placa managed $3.25 billion in assets, according to the latest Barron's rankings. Also moving with La Placa is advisor Jay Casey.

The team now operates in San Francisco as Intellectus Partners, with La Placa serving as CEO and Casey as president of the new firm.

$5B Teams Jumps to UBS

UBS lured away a team from J.P. Morgan Private Bank that oversaw $5 billion in client assets, according to a UBS spokesman.

Advisors Alli McCartney, Miguel Hennessy, David Wardrop, Jordan Mahaffey joined UBS in New York where they report to Chris Amo, complex director, the wirehouse said.

A UBS spokesman said that the advisors, who have previous experience at other wirehouses, work with ultrawealthy clients, many of whom are executives at financial services, technology and media companies.

Mahaffey and Wardrop started their careers at Merrill Lynch in 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. UBS says the duo worked in Merrill's elite Private Banking & Investment Group, which serves ultrawealthy clients. Wardrop moved to J.P. Morgan in 2008. Mahaffey made the switch the following year.

Before joining UBS, McCartney had been with J.P. Morgan since 2008, according to BrokerCheck records. She previously worked on equity and fund derivatives desks for Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman, UBS says.

Hennessy also joined J.P. Morgan in 2008. He previously worked in private equity, according to UBS. J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

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