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UBS loses $300M team to Stifel as wirehouse exodus accelerates

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Stifel lured away a team managing $300 million in client assets from UBS, a spokesman said.

It’s the latest hire for the regional firm, which has been aggressively attempting to lure more talent. Last week, Stifel picked up an advisor managing nearly $300 million from Janney Montgomery Scott.

The newest hires, advisors Ken Miller and husband-and-wife duo Tony and Bianca Urdes, joined the regional brokerage firm in Portland, Oregon. The team’s clients include early stage investors and ultrahigh-net-worth individuals.

“We are a tight-knit group of friends and family because each of us understands that the best way to practice our profession is with people you trust and beyond that, with people you like,” Tony Urdes says.

In addition to UBS, Stifel has been pulling in talent from rivals including Oppenheimer, Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch.

"We are very pleased with our start in 2018 given our laser focus on quality advisors who want the freedom to grow their business as they see fit,” says Stifel’s head of recruiting John Pierce. “We have a very robust start pipeline, but as everyone knows, nothing counts until the FA joins. We are expanding our geographic footprint when we identify FA's that are the right cultural fit."

UBS declined to comment on the departure. The team considered a total of 11 other firms and eventually chose to move to Stifel as they were drawn to the broker-dealer’s stability and personal touches, Urdes says.

Stifel’s respect for individual clients and the relationships that advisors have with them, regardless of the size of the client’s wealth, was also a draw.

“A lot of companies right now in the industry are streamlining and becoming more efficient, so accounts under a certain amount are going to a call center somewhere,” Urdes says. “So, all of a sudden you’re just having all these constraints that have nothing to do with the client experience.”

Tony Urdes has almost 20 years of experience in wealth management, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records, mostly with UBS. Bianca Urdes spent a decade with the wirehouse. Prior to joining Stifel, Miller — a 36 year industry veteran — spent six years with UBS, according to BrokerCheck. He has previous work experience with Morgan Stanley and Prudential as well.

“We care about building something that we can be proud of,” Urdes says. “We walk in the door every day seeking to add value for our clients over a long period of time. We believe in the importance of doing good, being involved in the community, being respectful and being willing to go the extra mile.”

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