$21-Mln Team of Goldman Lifers Leave for UBS in Dallas
In a sign that UBS is still selectively writing checks to lure U.S. advisors serving very wealthy people, it has recruited three advisors in Texas who have spent their entire careers with Goldman Sachs and produced about $21 million in 2018 on some $6.6 billion of client assets.
Cullen Thomason, Hunter Henry and Chad Whitney plan to shift to the sixth floor of the Crescent Court building in Dallas, where both firms are currently based, following a three-month “garden leave” that Goldman imposes on all advisors who resign, according to two people familiar with their plans.
Thomason and Henry have been with Goldman since 1997 and 2001, respectively, and, in a sign of their revenue chops, were both elevated to managing directors in the past five years. Whitney has been with Goldman since 2003, and joined the private wealth team in 2005, according to a biography posted on the website of Southern Methodist University, from which he received an MBA.
“We’re basically a family office,” Thomason said in a 2017 podcast hosted by a friend called “Insignificant Others.”
The team included four client associates and analysts and works with about 50 families, said Thomason, a Fort Worth native and Rice University graduate, who spent two years at Goldman in equity capital markets in New York before shifting to selling wealth management products to the rich.
“It’s a demanding place, they challenge you constantly,” he said of Goldman on the podcast, “but I have nothing but great things to say about it.”
The advisors did not return messages left on personal numbers, and with their former associates at Goldman. A Goldman spokesman declined to comment.
Goldman’s cadre of about 500 wealth managers work within its investment management division, have typically kept low industry profiles and rarely moved from a parent whose investment banking strength fuels a steady stream of product for wealthy clients. But the wealth group has experienced some recent churn, ranging from mega-teams that left in 2017 for Morgan Stanley in Washington, D.C., First Republic in Los Angeles and an independent RIA in San Francisco to a management shakeup four months ago in Atlanta.
UBS’s U.S. brokerage force declined by about 285 last year, bringing its advisor count to about 6,300, according to advisors at the firm. The bank has deliberately cut its recruiting budget to winnow a multi-billion-dollar overhang of “forgivable loans” to previously hired brokers, but has lately been making lucrative offers to teams with $10 million of production, according to several headhunters.
Experienced brokers, however, are continuing to leave.
David Hatz, an adviser in Aventura, Florida, who a source said produced more than $1 million on $175 million of customer assets for UBS, last week joined Morgan Stanley in the same city. He is a 25-year brokerage industry veteran who began his second stint with UBS in 2010 and had also previously worked at Smith Barney, according to his BrokerCheck history.
Hatz did not return a call for comment, but a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed his arrival. Both Morgan Stanley and UBS left the Protocol for Broker Recruiting at the end of 2017 in an attempt to curb brokers from leaving.
Morgan Stanley has itself lost more than 12 brokers in southern Florida in the past year.