Rockefeller Lands Large Morgan Stanley Team

Rockefeller Capital acquires The Merlin Wealth Management team from Morgan Stanley in Atlanta. Michael Merlin leaves Morgan after 10 years with over a decade spent at Citigroup prior to joining Morgan. The team’s production was approximately $8 million, managing approximately $2 billion in assets. This is yet another great acquisition for Rockefeller Capital.

About Rockefeller Capital Management:

With an anchor investment from the Rockefeller Family and $550M from Viking Capital, together, they have launched an open architecture national PWM platform, with very sophisticated Family Offices Services, Global Traditional and Alternative Investment Management Solutions, and Investment Banking Capabilities. They intend to acquire some of the most reputable and largest 250 advisor/teams nationally offering top dollar economic packages.

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.

First Republic Hires A Monster Team

First Republic acquires a $10 million group, Sal Tiano and team in Florida. Sal leaves JP Morgan after 29 years. The team was managing approximately $2 billion + in assets at JPM. A great win for First Republic.

ABOUT FIRST REPUBLIC

First Republic has been on a major recruiting binge, recruiting top teams nationally. In 2019, FRB lured two teams from UBS in LA producing about $5 million and $11 million, and another $3.6 million UBS team in New Jersey. They also hired a $16-million group of producers in Washington, DC from Merrill, a $2.5-million team in Palo Alto, Calif., and Wells Fargo Advisor teams in New York and San Diego producing $5.5 million and $4.7 million, respectively.

Would you would like to learn more about this specific deal structure? Might you care for a confidential call with Senior Management to learn more about First Republic’s platform?

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.

Bidding War Heats Up For GS Teams

UBS Private Wealth Management in Boston and Los Angeles picks one of the largest teams in the nation. The national practice is head up by Denis J. Cleary and Gregory M. Devine. They are one of the fastest growing PWM teams in the industry, managing more than $20M in production and $6B in assets. This is the 2nd $20M hire of a GS Team by UBS.
First Republic Bank in New York lands Brian Zakrocki and team. The previously Goldman team brought with them more than $12M in revenue with approximately $2.5B+ in assets. Zakrocki spent almost his entire career at Goldman. This is the 2nd largest hire of a huge GS Team by FRB who is aggressively recruiting some of the biggest teams in the US to its platform.

 

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.

At The High! Elite Practice Valuations Have Skyrocketed

Seller’s Market Begging Advisors To Name Their Price

During and shortly after the financial crisis recruiting deals skyrocketed to all-time highs No longer were practice acquisitions being had in the 200’s, rather the best teams were cashing in above 300%. First Republic, Wells Fargo, and even Morgan Stanley says ‘hold my beer’. Premium deals routinely push past 350% and should you outperform on the back-end, that number can climb to 500%!

Lets take a look at valuations in context, given the downdraft in markets this week. Hitting the bid at the high isn’t easy, but understanding the current landscape should give those of you on the fence some real context

China has had an unprecedented run of growth in their economy but it is finally contracting along with massive depreciation in their equity prices. Before this correction, there was an insatiable appetite of buyers and the price paid for equity prices had little justification for valuation. The situation with financial advisors is not very different.

Financial advisors practices have also had extraordinary growth and the valuations paid by banks has reached epic proportions. A correction seems imminent. Since the lows of 2008 the US markets are up close to 250% and the corresponding assets and production of advisors’ businesses have multiplied almost in lock step. Financial advisors, just like their parent banks, are reaping the benefits of Glass Stiegel – the cross selling opportunities from core asset management services, to life insurance, to lending. Most everything has worked in an advisors favor; core fee based revenue has boomed which has been augmented by transaction revenue of alternative investments, structured notes and general trading revenue;tremendous net new assets growth with capital market booms in technology to real estate; they have witnessed one the greatest bull markets ever in fixed income and the equity markets; and there has been an explosion of loan and insurance revenue.

With the growth of advisor practices so have their valuations. Most banks have struggled to keep pace with natural attrition when hiring talented advisors to help manage the mass affluent and high net worth client. There seems to be an insatiable appetite for qualified advisors and the price paid to retain them. Whereas 1x trailing 12 production with some back-end kickers were the norm, now some advisors are seeing upwards of 200% just to walk in the door and upwards of 400% with realistic back-end kickers. Few firms can attest to owning more than 5-6% of the mass market affluent market yet they seem to place a higher and higher price paid per advisor to just maintain the status quo. Added fuel to fire, the recent bidding war for large divisions of talented brokers from Credit Suisse, Barclays and Deutsche Bank have created a frenzy not seen since 2008.

However, in any market cycle, valuations cannot go up forever and most importantly, the end buyer must always make a reasonable ROI in order to make economic justification. Based on any logical math, the prices recently paid do not make rationale sense and several notable high level banking sources suggest that the biding was is over. In fact, there is an expected flood of advisors coming onto the market post the 2008 high turn of brokers with their 7 year deals coming off lockup.

Making matters worse, we are seeing Trailing 12/mos production falling off. The market has been in correction mode since the summer of 2015 and the recent contraction has been particularly severe. Banks have noted asset and revenue growth to be flat to down in 2015. Production for 2016 will be worse. Typically, private clients sell during corrections so advisor production is relatively high, but we likely will not see private clients return to the markets aggressively and will see further declines in production for a myriad of reasons; fewer IPO’s and M&A transactions; the fixed income markets are waning; structured notes and general trading revenue is slowing; the equity markets from Intl, small cap, tech, oil and gas among many sectors are getting clobbered.

The Perfect Storm is upon brokers who should heed the clear warnings. With T-12’s seemingly hitting a peek, prices paid by banks have just reached a crescendo, and an impending flood of advisors selling their books – it’s highly encouraged to begin a search. Those who wait may end up wishing they had a better life raft.

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.

UBS Flagship Team Set To Exit; Powerhouse Team Will Be An Eye Opener For Firm Brass

UBS is bracing for significant advisor losses throughout 2020. At least they better be. The aggressive comp grid changes provided the perfect cover for advisors and teams on the edge when considering a move to a new firm, to hit the bid.

**There is a $14M dollar team we do not represent that is leaving and there’s more to come.**

The first fruits of UBS’ mistakes is about to start hitting the tape.

In a discussion with a highly regarded senior executive, that is plugged in across the industry, the expectations for a coming wave of UBS departures is significant. So much so that one of the flagship teams in the country’s center is ‘dotting i’s and crossing t’s’ on their transition.

“This isn’t a surprise, as UBS was already vulnerable before the flood gates finally opened. It is nearly impossible to quantify the scale of the company grid miss-step and how quickly the fallout has developed.”

”Expect three different teams to be in the news in short order, one of them will be an eye opener on the East Coast. And you aren’t going to have to wait very long for it to hit the tape. Not going to give it completely away, but it’s a big one.”

As the conversation continued and went off, more background details were shared. Again, this one will be a big loss for UBS and a huge win for the firm that will be welcoming them.

Brace yourselves folks, it’s about to get litty litty on the recruiting trail.

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.

Wells Fargo Winning Streak; Momentum Shifts As Wells Fargo Keeps Adding Rival Teams Of Scale

Wells Fargo made a commitment 18 months ago that ‘money was no object’ when it came to rebuilding its wealth management brand. Refilling the seats that were left be advisors that bailed out in 2018/19 was its top priority.

Not only did they open the corporate coffers, but they bolstered their platform, upgraded senior leadership, and put their money where their mouth is… and the results have really begun to pour in.

Last week, Wells Fargo landed the largest producing UBS team in Alabama. The group includes Stephen Rice, Andrew Cundiff, and James Kline among others. Stationed in Birmingham, the team migrated and brought their $1 billion in assets under management with them.

This group joined two other large teams that left UBS for Wells Fargo the previous weekend, adding another $1 billion in client assets to the Wells Fargo ledger.

The appropriate term for what you are reading here is momentum. Pure and simple. Wells Fargo has pointed a bazooka at rivals like UBS, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley and fired it again and again and again. The results are undeniable.

As we continue to remain at the forefront of what advisors are listening to and why they are choosing Wells Fargo – expect more results just like this.

 

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.

ROCKEFELLER ROLLS: Greg Fleming Led Firm Attracts More Than $3B in AUM within Thirty Days

* Doug Linker, Noel Hedges, and their ten-person team in New Jersey made a huge move from Merrill Lynch (Paramus branch) to Rockefeller Capital Management. The team produced $6 million on about $750 million of client assets. All members of the team followed except for Kevin Ward, who is semi-retiring.

* Rockefeller landed a husband-and-wife Merrill team in San Francisco. The five-person team is led by Ann R. Wang and they were generating $3 million on about $275 million of assets. Ann’s husband, Jamie Durrani is a former Wells Fargo banker who partnered with his wife as a broker at Merrill almost eight years ago. They brought along their client and administrative associates —Rebecca Auster, Summer Macallister and June Mee Kim.

* Also, big moves happening in Texas. Earlier this month, Darrell Preston, Gerald Dahlander, Drew Swedlund, and team moved from Merrill in Dallas. They were a $6 million producing team overseeing almost $1 billion in assets.

* In Houston, a three-broker team led by Shay Scruggs (19-year industry veteran) also joined Rock. The team generated $5 million in revenue and oversaw $500 million in client assets.

* David Frankfort left Raymond James’ Alex. Brown division in Houston along with client associates Sanjay George and Monica Lyssy to join Rock. Frankfort produced $4.5 million and was managing $600 million in assets for UHNW clients including pro-athletes in baseball and basketball leagues.

With an anchor investment from the Rockefeller Family and $550M from Viking Capital, together, they launched an open architecture national PWM platform, with very sophisticated Family Offices Services, Global Traditional and Alternative Investment Management Solutions, and Investment Banking Capabilities. They intend to acquire some of the most reputable and largest 250 advisor/teams nationally offering top dollar economic packages.

 

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.

UBS PAIN: Losing Big Teams at Alarming Rate in 2020 – We Tell You Why

UBS brass has executed a cadre of missteps that is giving every large team in its firm ample reason to not only look elsewhere; but to protest with their feet and actually go elsewhere. Since the beginning of 2020 UBS (save one large private banking move) is a huge net loss leader across the wealth management recruiting landscape.

Take a look at a short list of teams (plus their revenue and assets) that have left the shrinking firm this year:

$6.5 MM UBS – St. Petersburg, FL
$8.1 MM UBS – Birmingham, AL
$5 MM UBS – Coral Gables, FL
$5 MM UBS – Houston, TX
$2.1 MM UBS – Beverly Hills, CA
$7.8 MM UBS – Washington DC
$3.5 MM UBS – Pittsburgh, PA
$5.7 MM UBS – San Francisco, CA
$3.1 MM UBS – Greenwich, CT

That’s nearly $50 MM in revenue that has vanished from UBS’ annual numbers in short order. And we left out several moves that would add to that total. So we ask why? Why is UBS literally hemorrhaging large teams? Some answers:

1. In early 2020 UBS leadership announced dramatic changes to the comp grid that would affect both teams and individual advisors. It was alarming. 20% increases had to be achieved to remain at your 2019 pay grade tiers. If those levels weren’t achieved, teams and advisors would see a 20% cut in real pay. Absurd.

In fact, it was so absurd that the outrage was immediate and visceral. UBS brass quickly backed off and gave advisors until mid-year to make up the difference. It’s mid-year BTW. The only thing that further delayed the incoming policy was COVID-19. It took a global pandemic to delay a grid hike unseen in the industry for two decades. Advisors know that it remains on the docket and could still be deployed at anytime – they aren’t waiting around to see when that happens.

2. Death by a thousand cuts. During the pandemic UBS asked their advisors to bonus admin staff to subsidize their pay. Really?? The market was crashing, clients were panicking, and the 150 year old Swiss bank you work for asks you to bonus the admin staff? Meanwhile, firms like Wells Fargo were happy to eat that ‘good will’ cost themselves. Instead of leaning in to partner with advisors and ‘essential’ staff, UBS leadership was almost distancing themselves from them.

3. Protocol exit and contract language. Another case of UBS attempting to take advantage of advisors and their efforts over the past decade (which, of course has kept the Swiss bank afloat). UBS exited the protocol in 2017 and on two separate occasions attempted to tie even more restrictive ‘non-contact, non-solicit’ language to new deferred awards. Again, the outrage was so loud and visceral that the firm backed off and returned to its initial protocol exit language. Still, smart advisors realize that the firm will keep making these attempts to restrict their industry freedom.

The bottom line here is this – the numbers don’t lie. UBS has a serious problem with its biggest and best advisors and teams. And the march to ‘greener pastures’ seems to be accelerating.

Need to make a move? We make it easier, faster, and guarantee a bigger transition package. Contact us for more information.