$7.6 Million Bernstein Producer Set to Join UBS in San Francisco-Sources
Continuing its strategy of prying advisors from private banks and white-shoe brokerage units of money managers and investment banks, UBS Wealth Management USA is about to hire a $7.6 million producer in San Francisco from Bernstein Private Wealth Management, according to three sources.
Stoker oversees about $750 million for a concentrated book of wealthy clients who are “very portable,” said an outside recruiter.
Stoker did not return requests for comment. A person answering Bernstein Wealth’s phones in San Francisco confirmed that he has resigned. Spokespeople at UBS and Bernstein declined to deny or confirm Stoker’s plans.
Private bank relationship managers are generally less expensive to recruit than more traditional brokers because they move fewer assets with them, according to headhunters. Their clients are used to working with investment and product specialists, and are locked in to more bank accounts and proprietary products.
But battles for brokers with wealthy clients have intensified, and UBS in recent months has dug deeper to recruit the upper-end private bankers despite its retrenchment from hiring wars with traditional competitors.
Its U.S. private wealth management team hired a three-broker team in Texas managing $1.5 billion in May from Bernstein. UBS also has attracted a J.P. Morgan Private Bank team in Atlanta overseeing more than $6 billion of assets that is currently on garden leave, several reliable sources told AdvisorHub last week.
Stoker “provides counsel to clients and their professional advisors on a variety of matters, including tax and estate planning, multigenerational asset allocation, individual and corporate retirement planning, and the sale of closely held businesses,” according to his LinkedIn profile that still lists him as a principal at Bernstein Private Wealth. A graduate of UCLA, he first registered as a securities rep in May 1998 at Sanford C. Bernstein, according to his BrokerCheck record.
UBS is not the only traditional brokerage firm plowing the fields of high-end wealth firms.
RBC Wealth Management in July lured William Grayson from Bernstein Private Wealth, where he oversaw about $750 million in client assets and was national director of its family office practice. Like Stoker, he is based in San Francisco.
The bankers are moving, in part, for greater incentives. Private bankers typically are compensated with salaries and bonuses, while brokerage firms have sales-incentive models that tie the percentage of client fees and commissions they split with the firm to the annual revenue they produce.
Bernstein is not technically a bank, and has a grid-based payout model. But its payout percentages are generally lower than its brokerage firm competitors and its bonus growth hurdles are high, in part because of its private banking image that attracts wealthy families that give a high denominator to payout balances, according to recruiters.
Spokespeople for Alliance Bernstein declined to comment on its total number of private wealth advisors.
The asset management company said last month that private wealth client accounts fell by $1.3 billion in the first half of the year, despite rising market values.