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Advisors ditch Wells Fargo for rivals RBC and Ameriprise

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Advisors have been abandoning Wells Fargo for over a year as the lure of the indie space and getting out from under a bank-backed firm calls them from the wirehouse, as well as the numerous scandals that have been plaguing the company.

An additional four advisors have recently ditched Wells Fargo for rivals RBC and Ameriprise.

Dynasty, Raymond James and Stifel are among the biggest beneficiaries of recent advisor moves.
September 21

First, Sean Phillips joined RBC Wealth Management from Wells Fargo Advisors with 18 years of industry experience, according to RBC. At the firm’s new Walnut Creek office in Northern California, Phillips will oversee one of RBC’s fastest-growing offices in the West.

Prior to leading multiple offices in the East Bay for Wells Fargo, Phillips passed the $1 million production threshold at Merrill Lynch, eventually rising to complex director for the firm in Northwest Florida.

“I have been most impressed with [RBC’s] boutique culture that has a fierce focus on the client/advisor relationship,” Phillips told On Wall Street. “I feel like in the years since the financial crisis, too many firms have moved away from what matters most – clients and the relationships.”

Another three advisors with $508 million in combined assets under management have left Wells Fargo to work for Ameriprise in three separate locations.

Alexander Timpson of Portland, Maine is joining Ameriprise as a financial advisor and managing director. He brings approximately $232 million in AUM, according to Ameriprise. Timpson is joined by practice manager and registered client service associate Mary Holden, also from Wells Fargo.

“I joined Ameriprise because I wanted a client-centric firm with deep resources, similar to the atmosphere where I started my career,” Timpson said in a statement provided by Ameriprise.
“I'm excited to offer my clients a higher level of service through the robust experience we provide as a team."

Also moving to Ameriprise is Brian Bratspis of Scottsdale, Arizona. Bratspis has approximately $151 million in AUM, according to the firm.

"The Ameriprise name is recognizable, their reputation solid and their history of serving clients well is strong,” he said in a statement. “Ameriprise has the ability to serve multiple generations through their financial planning approach and millennial-friendly technology. I serve individuals and families in well over a dozen states. Multiple generations, business owners, widows and widowers, and professional athletes are some examples of who I work with."

Finally, John Pavelka of Davenport, Iowa has joined Ameriprise’s franchise channel from Wells Fargo.

Pavelka, whose new title is private wealth advisor, is joined by operations and insurance specialist Dawn Morris and marketing specialist Courtney O’Connor, also from Wells Fargo. He has approximately $125 million in assets under management.

"Our clients know they have a true partner in us and that we strive to help them live the life they've imagined,” he said in a statement. “We wanted to be at a firm that has this same view, and we found that in Ameriprise."

Wells Fargo did not respond to a request for comment on these moves. Wirehouses in general have been losing talent over the last year as advisors cite the restrictive nature of big bank-backed firms.

But Wells Fargo isn’t the only wirehouse Ameriprise is poaching talent from. It has also recruited the Rose/Soranno Wealth Management Group, based in New York, from Morgan Stanley. Advisors Marcy Rose and Joseph Soranno join Ameriprise with $185 million in AUM.

Joseph Gronwald, Ryan Katahara and David Nakamoto of the Honolulu-based practice Kupa’a Financial Advisory Group come to Ameriprise from Merrill Lynch with $188 million in AUM.

"Ameriprise provides a higher level of financial planning resources and a robust technology platform to help drive the client experience,” Gronwald said in a statement announcing the move. “We can enhance the service we provide through the firm's client-centric way of doing business.”

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