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UBS loses $1.6B team to Wells Fargo FiNet

Signage is displayed outside a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch in Schaumburg, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Wells Fargo & Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 13. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg
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Wells Fargo FiNet has snapped up a team of ex-UBS advisors that managed $1.6 billion in client assets.

The Leawood, Kansas team, FCS Private Wealth Management, is made up of Thomas Freeman, Ted Chartier, Susan Freeman and Matthew Sayers. They are rounded out by COO Greg Spears, also formerly of UBS, who joined Wells Fargo on the advisor side in 2015.

This isn’t the first time ex-wirehouse veterans have found a home in FiNet. A former Morgan Stanley advisor who managed $92 million in client assets joined FiNet in June.

“I had been thinking of going independent for four or five years,” says Freeman. “I enjoyed my career at UBS, but as my practice grew and evolved, it made more sense to go independent. The wirehouse was more restrictive, and I wanted the flexibility.”

Freeman says he considered becoming an RIA or using a hybrid model, but wanted to make the move as straightforward as possible for his clients. FCS serves as a family office for 14 ultrahigh-net-worth families and also provides traditional private wealth management services.

“We wanted them to have an easy transition,” Freeman says. “The FiNet platform is not a huge leap from the wirehouse platform.”

Other reasons he chose Wells Fargo FiNet included its cybersecurity and strong lending capabilities.

Freeman has 30 years of experience, the last 17 of which were spent at UBS, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Spears has 32 years of broker experience at Merrill Lynch, UBS and Wells Fargo. Chartiers has 17 years, all at UBS. Sayers has 13 years of industry experience from UBS, and Susan Freeman has nine years, also all at UBS.

“If you can imagine moving 30 years of practice, and quickly, it’s a frenetic energy,” says Freeman, adding that he’s looking forward to considering taking on a few more families when the dust settles from the move.

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