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Wells Fargo loses more brokers, this time to First Republic

First Republic picked up a four-person team from Wells Fargo, the newest hires for the boutique bank and the latest losses for the wireshouse.

Peter Morimoto, Jon Jewitt, and Roy Elliott Jr. joined First Republic’s San Diego office as managing directors last week. Marena Tufenkjian joined as a vice president and wealth manager. The firm did not disclose the team’s AUM.

Wells Fargo has suffered from advisor attrition since a phony accounts scandal came to light in 2016. The bank reported that broker headcount fell below 14,000 at the end of the fourth quarter.

First Republic bank logo Bloomberg News
People walk past a First Republic Bank office in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, December 9, 2010. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

First Republic, meanwhile, has been aggressively courting high-end talent from competitors, particularly those at wirehouses. The firm’s successes last year, which included several billion-dollar teams, has boosted growth for First Republic’s wealth management business.

"We hired 11 new teams during 2018 and one already in 2019,” President Gaye Erkan told analysts Tuesday during an earnings call.

The following 17 teams oversaw about $75 billion in assets. The firms ending the year with prize recruits include a diverse cast: regional BDs, wirehouses, boutiques and RIAs.
December 14

The bank reported Tuesday that fourth quarter revenue for the wealth management unit totaled $119.6 million, up 15% from the same period last year. At $126.2 billion, assets were up 18.0% compared to a year ago.

Like other wealth management firms, asset dropped 3.6% from the prior quarter. Market volatility has buffeted firms. Wells Fargo, for example, reported earlier this week that assets for its retail brokerage arm fell 10% year-over-year to land at $1.5 trillion.

First Republic’s newest hires are industry veterans. Morimoto and Jewitt have two decades of experience in financial services, according to their new employer. Morimoto had been with Wells Fargo since 1998, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Jewitt had previously worked as a senior investment strategist at the wirehouse, First Republic says. He started his career at A.G. Edwards, a predecessor firm of Wells Fargo, in 1998.

Elliot has 17 years of industry experience, and worked at Morgan Stanley prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2004. Tufenkjian started her career at Wells Fargo in 2005, according to BrokerCheck.

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo could not be reached for immediate comment.

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