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The wirehouse breakaways accelerated this month, as advisors left with more than $10 billion in combined client assets, according to recent hiring announcements.

The majority of the departures came from Morgan Stanley, which lost 11 teams managing over $7 billion after its abrupt announcement to exit the Broker Protocol.

Among them, a $3 billion New York-based team led by advisors Collen O’Callaghan and Norm Thomas left for J.P. Morgan. A $778 million team joined Wells Fargo’s independent broker-dealer arm. Others split for Stifel and RBC.

Recruiters suggest that Morgan Stanley’s protocol decision, aimed at stemming the ongoing departures of wirehouse advisors to rivals, might actually have accelerated them. In the post-protocol period, advisors leaving the firm may face costly litigation over who owns the client relationships. If other firms follow suit, the industry could revert to a more litigious era.

Meanwhile, regional firms and independent brokerages continue to benefit from the exodus of talent from the big four. RBC poached four wirehouse teams in November and expanded into Palos Verdes, California. Steward Partners opened its 12th office with new hires from Wells Fargo managing $400 million in assets.

Scroll through to see more advisor moves. For a look at our previous roundup, click here.


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