Three advisors who managed $465 million in combined client assets are leaving major wirehouses for Janney Montgomery Scott, according to the regional firm.
Their move comes amid accelerating wirehouse breakaways in the industry, as uncertainty about the future of the Broker Protocol looms large. Two of the big four wirehouses, UBS and Morgan Stanley, have decided to exit the pact, sparking concerns that more firms will soon follow suit.
Janney’s latest hires came from the two other wirehouses that have not left the pact. John Chase Jr. and David Robb join Janney from Wells Fargo, and Reginald Wilkes comes from Merrill Lynch.
A breakdown in the longstanding protocol, however, could present future obstacles for regional firms like Janney, which has been aggressively recruiting wirehouse talent. Without the protocol, departing advisors may face costly lawsuits over who owns the clients.
Among Janney’s new hires, Chase joins the Columbia, South Carolina branch with more than $125 million in client assets. He began his career in 2002 at A.G. Edwards before spending nine years at Wells Fargo, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He is joined by client associate Ginger Allen.
Robb moves to Janney’s Philadelphia headquarters with $170 million in client assets. He has 32 years of industry experience and got his start with Mutual Benefit Financial Service Company in 1985.
Wilkes also joins the headquarters with over $170 million in assets. A former NFL linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons, Wilkes became an advisor with Merrill Lynch in 1988. He worked at PNC Investments and Mercantile Brokerage Services before returning to Merrill in 2008.
A spokesperson for Wells Fargo declined to comment, and Merrill Lynch could not be reached immediately for comment.
Some recruiters suggest that a protocol exit, aimed at stemming the departures of advisors to rivals, might actually accelerate them. Within a week of its announcement, Morgan Stanley lost advisors overseeing more than $9 billion in assets, according to hiring announcements and FINRA BrokerCheck records.
Three weeks before Morgan Stanley’s exit, Janney landed a $359-million team from the wirehouse. The regional firm hired approximately three quarters of their new recruits in the past year from the largest firms, its President Jerry Lombard said in an August interview.