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Wells Fargo loses 9 advisory teams in 3 weeks

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Wells Fargo has lost two more advisory teams, including a $1.7 million producer, marking at least nine notable moves away from the embattled wirehouse announced in the last three weeks.

John Banks will join Raymond James & Associates, the firm’s employee broker-dealer, in Rochester, New York, the firm says.

In a second move, RBC Wealth Management snapped up a three-person team that includes Doug Dumais, Kirt Fredericks and Kathy Hale. They managed $175 million in assets and joined the regional firm in Spokane, Washington.

Banks made the move for what he says is a better culture for clients and more support to manage his business. “This feels very much like coming home back to a company that is client-centric, independent and not owned by a bank,” he says. He is joined at the office by practice business manager Tricia Zanon.

Raymond James, which is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, has aggressively pursued new hires and pushed into new territory including the Midwest. The firm picked up another team managing $405 million in client assets at its Racine, Wisconsin office last month. That team also came from Wells Fargo.

Raymond James announced record-high advisor headcount in its first quarter earnings report. The firm’s 7,604 advisors across all of its channels makes it larger than UBS.

Like other wirehouses, Wells Fargo has reeled from advisor attrition in recent years. Headcount dropped four out of the last five quarters as numerous scandals have hit the bank, including one specifically at its wealth management segment. The firm’s advisor ranks fell by 300 advisors year-over-year in the fourth quarter to 14,544.

While new hires are waning at Wells Fargo, advisor productivity is up at the firm, according to its latest earnings report published in April. Client assets swelled to $242 billion for the bank’s wealth management segment, up 2% from the prior year. "We continue to take a disciplined recruiting approach and it’s working,” a Wells Fargo spokeswoman said after the firm reported its earnings last month. “We feel no need to focus on raw headcount numbers.”

Profits also surged. Net income in the firm’s wealth and investment management business rose 7% year-over-year to $714 million, driven higher in part by falling income tax expenses, the firm says.

Wells Fargo declined to comment on Banks’ move to Raymond James, and did not respond to requests for comment on the other team’s move to RBC.

Banks has been in the financial services industry for 24 years, per FINRA BrokerCheck records. He began his career as a financial advisor at A.G. Edwards in 1993, and after the firm’s acquisition by Wells Fargo, he remained with the wirehouse for another 10 years, per BrokerCheck.

Dumais began his career in 1982 and previously worked with D.A. Davidson before moving to Wells Fargo in 2010, per BrokerCheck. Kirt Fredericks began his career in 1991 and also worked with D.A. Davidson before moving to Wells in 2010, per BrokerCheck. Kathy Hale worked with UBS starting in 2001 before moving to Wells in 2011, per BrokerCheck.

Here are the other seven moves away from Wells Fargo, reported by Financial Planning and On Wall Street, in the last three weeks:

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