Advisors on the move: 28 of the biggest most recent jumps
Wirehouse losses fed regional firms and the independent movement as the final weeks of the fourth quarter brought increased recruiting momentum to the advisory space.
Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, UBS, and Morgan Stanley all lost some talent, while RBC, Janney Montgomery Scott, Raymond James, and Ameriprise have each added to their pool of planners. The uncertainty surrounding the future of the Broker Protocol played a role in many advisors’ decisions.
Morgan Stanley surprised the industry when it exited the pact, which was struck in 2004 in order to allow a legal framework for breakaway advisors.
Almost 1,700 firms signed the Protocol.
Both UBS and Citigroup have also withdrawn from the accord. One team that oversaw $1.2 billion at UBS left to join J.P. Morgan Securities, making their move just before UBS's planned exit from the Broker Protocol on Dec. 1.
“I think it could be the beginning of the end of the protocol, and that would be bad for advisors and their clients,” Ross Intelisano, an attorney at New York law firm Rich, Intelisano & Katz, told On Wall Street in October.
Scroll through our slideshow to see 28 of the largest recent advisor moves.
RBC Wealth Management lured over an advisor with more than $250 million in client assets from UBS.
Timothy Woods joined the regional firm’s Des Moines, Iowa, office as senior vice president and branch director, according to the company. The 34-year veteran is accompanied by Jennifer Lynn Poe, senior branch service manager.
With its official exit from the Broker Protocol looming, UBS hired several teams overseeing approximately $1.4 billion in client assets.
In Indianapolis, James Schillaci, Kevin Johns and Brian Wenstrup left Merrill Lynch where they previously oversaw about $335 million and generated $2.3 million in annual production, a spokeswoman confirms. They report to manager Jon Ramey.
The team had been with Merrill since 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Prior to Merrill, they worked at Hilliard Lyons.
Ahead of UBS protocol exit, $1.2B team jumps to J.P. Morgan Securities
A team that oversaw $1.2 billion at UBS left to join J.P. Morgan Securities ― squeaking in their move just prior to UBS's planned exit from the Broker Protocol on Dec. 1.
The six-member group, led by Kurt Sylvia, joined J.P. Morgan Securities in Palm Beach, Florida, a company spokeswoman confirmed. Sylvia said they made the move in part because of J.P. Morgan's platform and resources. Sylvia, an industry veteran of 24 years, had been with UBS since 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.
Under protocol pressure, $250M UBS team jumps to Steward Partners
A $250 million team left UBS last week for independent firm Steward Partners, joining an exodus of talent from the wirehouse just before its exit from the Broker Protocol.
Advisors David Bernacchia and Darren DeQuatro had been considering a move for about a year, but they moved up their planned departure after UBS announced it would join Morgan Stanley in leaving the industry accord, which permits departing brokers to take basic client contact information.
Ameriprise nabs $354M advisors from Wells Fargo, Commonwealth
Ameriprise has landed two advisors managing $354 million in combined client assets, adding to Wells Fargo’s recent losses and notching a rare reverse breakaway from independent firm Commonwealth Financial Network.
Former Wells Fargo advisor Michael Huffman has joined Ameriprise with approximately $219 million in client assets. He joined the firm in Mesa, Arizona.
Commonwealth’s Heath Bartlett managed $135 million in assets. He joined the firm's employee channel in Lexington, South Carolina.
Two brothers managing $1.3 billion in fee-based advisory assets under management at their second-generation LPL Financial practice have started their own RIA.
Max and Lucas Winthrop of Boston-based Winthrop Wealth Management moved the firm’s advisory assets off LPL’s corporate RIA and into a new one with LPL as its primary custodian, Winthrop announced. The new RIA also includes a proprietary M&A platform.
“With our new hybrid RIA, Winthrop Wealth Management enjoys a greater degree of independence and flexibility than was ever possible before,” Max Winthrop said in a statement. “This change supports our growth strategy and our commitment to delivering unparalleled client service.”
Univest taps advisor to be CIO
Univest Wealth Management hired as its chief investment officer an advisor who joined the firm under the acquisition of Girard Partners.
Timothy Chubb now oversees investment management across the Souderton, Pennsylvania-based firm’s bank, RIA and broker-dealer lines of business, the company announced. Univest acquired Chubb’s former company, Girard Partners, in 2014, and it now has more than 50 offices in three states.
“I’ve always been committed to helping clients explore a better way to achieving their financial goals,” Chubb said in a statement.
“That starts and ends with a continuous education on the financial markets, economy and how that impacts their long-term aspirations. In this new role, I look forward to providing this thought leadership for Univest and translating that into effective investment strategies for our valued clients.”
$600M practice joins Woodbury Financial from Girard Securities
A practice made up of six teams, 15 advisors and $600 million in client assets joined Advisor Group’s Woodbury Financial Services from Cetera Financial Group’s Girard Securities.
Partners Michael Matrise and Tom Polzin of Matrise, Polzin & Company, also known as MPC Advisers, joined Woodbury in Brookfield, Wisconsin, their new BD announced. The 43-year-old firm has more than 2,500 clients.
“We’ve grown in this industry for over 40 years, and during that time we have never strayed from our mission of placing clients’ interests above all else,” Matrise said in a statement.
“When selecting a partner for affiliation, our overarching priority was to find a firm that held these same values, and that would work with us to ensure our client service remained top-notch.”
Headline: Large LPL producers merge practices into $875M firm
Two LPL Financial practices merged their companies together, creating one firm with $875 million in client brokerage and advisory assets.
Jack Hillis of Hillis Financial Services and Mike Allard of CalBay Investments announced the merger of the two California Bay Area practices. Hillis has ranked in the top 2% of LPL advisors in production for the past decade, while Allard made the firm’s top 10 independent advisors last year.
“Mike and I have known each other for 40 years and we share a passion for client service with the belief that we have an obligation to serve our clients’ best interests at all times,” Hillis said in a statement.
“By bringing together the complementary strengths of our two firms, we can increase our scale and depth of expertise to offer more value to our clients today and into the future.”
Kestra picks up $400M firm from Cadaret Grant
A Caderet Grant practice with $400 million in retirement plan assets and individual client accounts bolted for Kestra Financial.
Thom Shumosic’s MidAtlantic Retirement Planning Specialists, which has 12 advisors in seven offices, joined Kestra in Wilmington, Delaware, the firm’s new BD announced. Shumosic expects to open the firm’s first Florida office next year, he says.
“Kestra Financial’s next-generation technology, abundance of resources, and track record of helping advisory practices like ours grow is what spurred us to partner with the organization,” Shumosic said in a statement.
LPL retains $530M firm after National Planning Holdings deal
Two twin brother advisors opted to move their practice to LPL Financial after the firm acquired the assets of their prior broker-dealer, SII Investments.
Thomas and Robert Fross of Fross & Fross Wealth Management will join the largest independent-broker dealer in The Villages, Florida, the Fross brothers announced. The practice includes four producing advisors and 11 full-time staff members.
The brothers also own an advisor consulting firm called Platinum Advisor Strategies.
“We were very impressed with the forward thinking of the firm on things like technology and marketing,” Robert Fross said in a statement. “We are particularly excited to be able to leverage LPL’s proprietary research and its high-net-worth capabilities, which offer a level of sophistication that will add tremendous value to our business.”
Raymond James lands advisors with over $700M
Raymond James swept up advisors managing more than $700 million in client assets, according to the firm.
Six wirehouse advisors joined Raymond James from Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley ― with the latter career changes occurring just prior to Morgan Stanley's exit from the Broker Protocol.
Raymond James’ newest hires say they moved for better corporate culture and capabilities. Four joined the St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm's employee side, while two joined the independent side.
"I liked the fact Raymond James owns a bank and is not owned by one," former Merrill Lynch advisor Arthur Springer said in a statement.
$380M National Planning group departs for Ameriprise
The long list of breakaways from National Planning Holdings keeps growing following LPL’s acquisition of the IBD network last August.
Phil Wood’s team, which oversees $380 million in assets under management, has opted to join Ameriprise Financial, leaving SII Investments. SII is one of the four broker-dealers in the NPH network, which also includes National Planning, Invest Financial and Investment Centers of America.
Wood says he made the decision to join Ameriprise for three reasons: “First, the firm's values and history of focusing on client needs. Second, we wanted the financial planning and technology resources that only a large, self-clearing firm can offer. And finally, we wanted a firm who would partner with us to help grow our business,” he said in a statement.
An advisor who oversaw $327 million in client assets joined Alex. Brown, a high-end wealth management unit of Raymond James, the company said. James Sheehan left UBS prior to the firm's withdrawal from the Broker Protocol, according FINRA BrokerCheck records. He is based in New York and reports to John Sutton, regional executive for Alex. Brown.
The St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm has been an aggressive recruiter of advisor talent in recent years, and the Alex. Brown unit has not been an exception. In August, Alex a $500 million team from Morgan Stanley, also in New York.
For his part, Sheehan said he had been considering a move for some time. He was drawn to Alex. Brown and Raymond James for several reasons including its technology and culture.
Wells Fargo loses 5 advisors with over $400M in AUM
Five advisors with more than $400 million have jumped ship at Wells Fargo to work for regional broker-dealers instead, according to hiring announcements.
Among the recent moves are two veteran advisors who bolted to join RBC’s offices in Raleigh, North Carolina. Joseph Friend and Ross Gordon have 29 and 43 years of industry experience, respectively.
Janney Montgomery Scott, continuing its own hiring streak, scooped up another three advisors from Wells Fargo. The Philadelphia-based firm announced four new hires with a combined $260 million in client assets — three of which came from the wirehouse.
Ronald Gaillard joined the firm's office in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He oversaw $76 million in client assets, according to his new employer. Thomas Hagigh, who managed $78 million, has joined Janney's Baltimore office. And Stephen Zales has joined the firm's branch in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, also managing $78 million in client assets.
Separately, advisor David Varela, who has 24 years of industry experience and manages $48 million in assets, left Raymond James to work at Janney’s Boston office, a spokesman said.
Among the new hires are Michael Zizmer and Newton Jones. While at UBS, they oversaw about $440 million and generated annual fees and commissions of more than $3.2 million, according to their new employer.
They bolted from UBS and officially registered with Raymond James on November 30 — the day before the wirehouse exited the protocol, an industry trade agreement that permits brokers to take basic client contact information when switching firms.
LPL hybrid practice adds $100M advisor from Wells Fargo
An RIA and super office of supervisory jurisdiction affiliated with LPL Financial poached an advisor with $100 million in client assets from Wells Fargo.
Scot Lance joined Eric Aanes’ Larkspur, California-based Titus Wealth Management, the firm announced. Lance, who also previously worked at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, UBS and Bank of America, now serves as a managing director at the hybrid practice.
“Joining Eric and the Titus team offers me the opportunity to be a part of a growth-minded practice while keeping my independence as a financial advisor,” Lance said in a statement.
J.P. Morgan Securities loses $700M team to hybrid RIA
A team managing over $700 million at J.P. Morgan Securities has jumped ship, taking the practice to a hybrid RIA and private banking boutique, making them the latest team to move to the independent channel.
William Christian, Tammi Lauder, and brothers Michael and William Lent will now serve wealthy clients and institutions at Fieldpoint Private, which is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The team was drawn to the firm because it is able to deliver all of the advice, products and services of a large firm, but with a “nimbleness, creativity, and client-centricity that doesn’t exist on the Street,” says Fieldpoint CEO Robert Matthews.
An advisor managing $141 million in assets at Stifel Nicolaus left the firm to join Ameriprise Financial.
Mark McGrath spent 10 years working at Stifel, according to FINRA Brokercheck. He had previously worked three years with Ryan Beck & Co after starting his career at Morgan Stanley in 1992.
“Ameriprise is an industry leader in financial planning. People are living longer than ever before, and it’s important for clients to have a retirement plan, regardless of their current age,” McGrath said in a statement about the move. “With Ameriprise, I’m able to offer tailored advice and solutions to help meet their goals no matter where they are on the age spectrum.”
Woodbury Financial grabs three firms with $500M from National Planning, SII Investments
Advisor Group’s Woodbury Financial added three practices as its recruitment for the year reached 215 advisors, part of a haul of 547 advisors by the larger network.
Woodbury grabbed two Independence, Missouri-based firms — Bill Evans and Terri Steele’s Evans and Steele Financial and Martin Tax & Financial Services — from National Planning, according to the firm.
Michigan-based partner firms Platinum Wealth Management Group and Integrated Wealth Management also joined Woodbury from SII Investments. The three groups have more than $500 million in assets under administration.
“The veritable influx of new advisory firms we've experienced this year is reflective of the strong industry reputation that we have built for delivering excellent service, and a tailored approach that enables us to support firms' divergent and specific needs,” Woodbury CEO Rick Fergesen said in a statement.
Wells Fargo poaches new director from Eaton Vance
Wells Fargo Advisors has brought on a new director to build a team that will work to better align client investments with their objectives and risk tolerance.
Newly hired director of portfolio strategy and alignment within client experience and growth, John Crowley, has joined the firm from Eaton Vance. Most recently Crowley served as vice president of Eaton Vance Management and portfolio manager of Eaton Vance’s value team.
Crowley’s “vast knowledge and experience will prove valuable as we continue to help our clients reach their goals through the fulfillment of our fiduciary duty and commitment to clients,” Wells Fargo Advisors’ head of client experience and growth Heather Hunt-Ruddy said in a statement.
Verdence Capital Advisors’ team is growing
Private wealth advisory firm Verdence Capital Advisors is expanding its team with the addition of former Deutsch Bank director Megan Horneman.
Verdence was formed in July of 2017 and manages approximately $2 billion in client assets. Horneman’s role will be to publish detailed research on both global and domestic markets for the firm.
“Megan brings an expertise that will greatly influence affluent investors, investment boards and members of high-net worth family offices,” Verdence CEO and Partner Leo Kelly said in a statement. “Her overall market expertise will fit perfectly within the culture of our group.”
Janney’s fixed income team gets new leader
Janney Montgomery Scott has promoted its head of origination and national strategy at Janney to the role of head of public finance for the firm’s fixed income team.
Company veteran Vivian Altman will be responsible for banking, strategic planning, coordinating execution with underwriting and sales, and expanding Janney’s Public Finance presence.
“Vivian is one of the most highly respected and experienced professionals in the public finance industry,” said Tom Bajus, Managing Director, Head of Fixed Income. “Her proven track-record of success and leadership, coupled with her more than three decades of industry knowledge, make her the ideal candidate for this role.”
Kestra Private Wealth Services grabs $68M firm
Kestra Financial’s boutique RIA consisting of wirehouse breakaways grabbed three advisors managing $68 million in client assets from UBS.
John Hebert, Brandon Hebert, and Jeffrey Hebert of Modernize Wealth joined the firm in Chandler, Arizona, Kestra announced. The former wirehouse advisors produced $800,000 in annual revenue at UBS.
“Modernize Wealth provides clients with a holistic planning experience, and as part of that, we want to be associated with a firm that offers us the freedom to utilize state-of-the-art technology. We found those resources – and more – in Kestra PWS,” John Hebert said in a prepared statement.