Slideshow Billion-dollar recruits: Biggest adviser moves of 2016

Published
  • December 15 2016, 3:57pm EST

2016’s largest recruiting moves

Adviser moves suffered a significant slowdown this year. Only 13 mega teams, those managing $1 billion or more in client assets, switched firms in 2016, according to On Wall Street reporting. In comparison, 26 such teams made the leap last year.

Market volatility, regulatory overhauls and an uncertain political climate contributed to advisers’ hesitation towards making major career changes, according to recruiters.

Some firms have also begun to focus more on retention rather than recruitment. In June, UBS announced that it would reduce recruiting by 40% as part of new firm-wide efforts to improve productivity and loyalty.

To see where the biggest recruits went in 2016, click through our slideshow.

Lebenthal loses $750M elite advisers

Two advisers who managed $750 million have left Lebenthal Wealth Advisors to start their own firm with backing from Dynasty Financial Partners, according to a Dynasty spokeswoman.

Carrie Gallaway and Andrew Stern, former wirehouse advisers, are opening YorkBridge Wealth Partners in Bridgehampton, New York, and are joined by several former Lebenthal executives, including Jeffrey Lane who served as chairman of the board for Lebenthal Holdings.

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$800M Merrill team jumps to Janney

A team that managed more than $800 million has left Merrill Lynch to join Janney Montgomery Scott, a spokesman said.

The advisers will work from two Janney offices in Connecticut: West Hartford and newly opened Mystic.

Joining the regional firm are Ken Griffen, Paul Vaida, Royden Grimm, Barry Saluk, and Jared Bloxsom. The team, which is called Seaport Wealth Management, serves almost 900 client households.

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Stifel grabs $825M Credit Suisse advisers

Stifel recruited four Credit Suisse advisers who managed $825 million in client assets, a Stifel spokeswoman said.

Donald Kinsey, Michele Crittenden, Matthew Pickett and Travis Moss joined Stifel in Dallas. Kinsey started his career at Bear Stearns in 1994, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Crittenden started his career at Lehman Brothers in 1998, while Pickett started his career in 1983 at Rauscher Pierce Refsnes, according to BrokerCheck.

Moss began his career at Banc of America Securities in 1998, BrokerCheck says.

$1B UBS team jumps to Morgan Stanley

A UBS team that oversaw about $1 billion in client assets left to join Morgan Stanley, the recruiter who oversaw the move says.

Abraham Chehebar, Javier Jaramillo, Juan Carom left UBS in Coral Gables, Fla., to join Morgan in Miami, Steve Rosen, president of recruiting firm Rainmaker Associates said.

The trio generated about $11 million in annual revenues before jumping between the wirehouses, according to Rosen.

Chehebar had been with UBS since 2004 while Jaramillo and Carom had been with the wirehouse since 2005, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Chehebar had previously worked for Smith Barney from 1998 to 2004.

Jaramillo and Carom were both at Wachovia Securities from 2003 to 2005, and Prudential from 2001 to 2003, according to BrokerCheck. Jaramillo, prior to that, was with ABN AMRO.

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U.S. Capital Advisors recruits $1B advisers from Amegy Bank

U.S. Capital Advisors recruited advisers that managed approximately $1 billion in client assets, the firm said.

Joseph Klein, Stephen Hines and Doug Masterson moved from Amegy Bank. Together, they oversaw about $1 billion in client assets, according to U.S. Capital. The trio joined the firm’s new office in Houston.

All three advisors had been registered with Amegy since 2003, according to BrokerCheck records. Masterson said in a statement that they made the move in part for U.S. Capital's platform, and because they felt that the firm's wholly owned broker-dealer and RIA would allow them to better serve their clients.

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$1B Morgan Stanley team nabbed by RBC

A team that managed $1 billion in client assets left Morgan Stanley to join RBC, a spokeswoman says.

RBC's newest hires generated $3.6 million in annual revenue, the firm says.

The group operates from RBC's offices in San Antonio and Lufkin, Texas. Team members include advisers Phillip Friesen, his son John, Chuck Crowson, Greg Bowman and Josh Zeleskey.

Steve Ogle, director of RBC's San Antonio branch, cited the advisers' industry experience and knowledge as reasons why the firm wanted to hire them.

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Raymond James grabs $1B team from Stifel

A team that oversaw $1 billion in assets left Stifel to join Raymond James' employee channel, the firm said.

The Goeas Group generated approximately $1.25 million in annual revenue, according to Raymond James. The team is comprised of Larry Goeas, his brother Leo, and sales associates Lehua Pahia and Sally Kihoi. They will operate from Raymond James & Associates' first branch in Honolulu.

Larry Goeas will serve as branch manager of the new office, Raymond James says.
He started his financial services career in 1983 with Lehman Brothers, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Goeas has additional work experience at Smith Barney and A.G. Edwards. Goeas had been with Stifel since 2008.

Leo Goeas, a former NFL player, joined his brother at the firm as a financial adviser in 2010.
He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, like his brother. In 1990, Goeas was drafted by the San Diego Chargers. During his seven year career in the NFL, he also played for the St. Louis Rams and Baltimore Ravens.

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$1B UBS adviser moves to Merrill Lynch

A UBS adviser who managed $1 billion in client assets joined Merrill Lynch, the firm said.

Melinda Johnston joined Merrill Lynch in Fort Worth, Texas. She generated $5.6 million in annual revenues while at UBS, a Merrill Lynch spokeswoman said.

Johnston started her career at Prudential Securities in 1985, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. She moved to UBS in 1995, BrokerCheck shows.

$1.05B Credit Suisse duo departs for Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo scooped up a team that managed approximately $1.05 billion in client assets from Credit Suisse, the wirehouse said.

Advisers Todd Showalter and Andrew McCormick joined Wells Fargo in Chicago, Illinois, after close to eight years at the Swiss bank, FINRA BrokerCheck records show. The team specializes in serving entrepreneurs, business owners and family offices, according to their Wells Fargo profiles.

Showalter is an industry veteran with 23 years of experience. Prior to Credit Suisse, he worked for Lehman Brothers and Banc of America. McCormick got his start in financial services at Lehman in 2002.

Merrill picks up $1.1B team

Merrill Lynch recruited a group of elite Morgan Stanley advisers to open a new office in Bellevue, Washington, the firm said.

Advisers James Ferguson, Alan Lubner and Traci Bumpus oversaw more than $1.1 billion in client assets.

Lubner began his advisory career at Prudential Securities in 1990, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He moved to Smith Barney in 1994. Ferguson, an adviser since 1987, joined Smith Barney from CIBC Oppenheimer in 1998. Bumpus started her career at Smith Barney in 2000.

Read more: Merrill hires Morgan advisers with over $2B

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$1.2B Morgan Stanley team jumps to Merrill Lynch

A former Merrill Lynch adviser has rejoined the firm with a new team and roughly $1.2 billion in combined client assets, the firm says.

Merrill rehired Andrew Zimmerman along with team members Edward Nabhan, his son Alexander, Megan Cooney and James McIntyre. The group operates from Merrill's Boston Financial Center office, the firm says.

Zimmerman took on his first job in the industry with Merrill in 1990 and left the firm 18 years later to work for Morgan Stanley. While there, Zimmeran held several posts, including managing director, senior portfolio manager, adviser and family wealth director, according to Merrill. He also recruited his future team members.

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$1.3B team jumps to Raymond James

Raymond James recruited a team overseeing $1.3 billion in client assets from Merrill Lynch, a spokeswoman said.

The team, which is comprised of advisors David S. Loeb Jr., and brothers Edward and Jim Fernberger, generated approximately $7 million in annual revenues, according to Raymond James.

"We selected Raymond James, after extensive due diligence primarily because the firm provides the size, scale and national presence to support the needs of our clients," Jim Fernberger said in a statement.

The group joined Raymond James in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. They report to Dan Jones, branch manager.

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Credit Suisse loses $1.6B team

A team that managed more than $1.6 billion in client assets left Credit Suisse to join William Blair, a spokesman said.

Advisors Kim Chenevey, Joel Dobbs, Craig Savage, and Andy Thompson joined William Blair's Private Wealth Management Group in Atlanta, where they opened a new office. Also moving with the team are service associates Robert Castaneda and Sarah Lundquist.

Savage, speaking on behalf of the team, said that they made the move to William Blair for its "independent, partnership culture" and the firm's technology and investment capabilities.

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Wells Fargo loses $1.7B team to Noyes

A Wells Fargo team that oversees more than $1.7 billion left to join Noyes, an independent broker-dealer, according to a spokesman.

The Cooke Financial Group, led by brothers Chris and Brian Cooke, joined the firm as partners and opened a new branch for Noyes in Indianapolis. CEO Mark Damer said in a statement that it's now Noyes' largest branch office. Damer added that the new hires demonstrate how Noyes is an attractive place for wirehouse advisers to do business.

Chris Cooke said they were drawn to make the move in part because of Noyes' culture.

"Merging with Noyes will enable us to eliminate the conflict of interest that may arise by being associated with a wirehouse, gain access to a wider selection of investment products, and serve more affluent clients," Cooke said in a statement.

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$2.2B adviser leaves Credit Suisse for J.P. Morgan

A Credit Suisse advisor who managed $2.2 billion in client assets left the firm to join J.P. Morgan Securities, a spokeswoman said.

Elaine Meyers, an industry veteran, joined J.P. Morgan in San Francisco, where she reports to Regional Director Robert Spawn, the firm said.

Meyers said she made the move to J.P. Morgan for its boutique wealth management model, which she believes best fits her clients' needs.

"I am especially eager to leverage the alternatives and lending capabilities, which are two areas that I believe many of my clients will greatly benefit from," she said.

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$7B Wells Fargo PCG team goes indie with Raymond James

An adviser team overseeing nearly $7 billion in assets for the Private Client Group at Wells Fargo Advisors has gone independent with Raymond James, the firm said.

Next Retirement Solutions, originally known as Neuner Retirement Services, focused on retirement consulting and planning, mostly for institutions while working for Wells. Its offices are located in California, Illinois and Missouri, with a focus on serving clients nationwide.

Next Retirement Solutions founder Paul Neuner, who currently serves as managing director, partner and financial adviser; says the move to Raymond James will allow his team better opportunities to meet their client companies’ unique needs.

Kevin McFarland, the firm's senior vice president of finance and operations, also serves as an adviser and partner, according to the firm.

Other team members include Dominic Repetti, adviser, partner and senior vice president of relationship management; Neelab Naibkhyl, adviser and director, strategic development; Timothy Cronin, adviser and senior vice president of wealth management; as well as senior relationship managers and advisers Damon DeLillo and Michael Rozovics.

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