Ameriprise Lays Down Carpet for Wells Team in California
Ameriprise Financial has opened an employee-channel branch in southern California for a two-broker team from Wells Fargo Advisors’ private client group with 49 years of experience.
John Burg, Tamara Colon and a client associate received the keys to a new employee-channel Ameriprise branch in Temecula, California, in late July. The pair had been managing around $161 million in client assets at Wells, according to an Ameriprise spokeswoman. They were producing around $1.2 million of annual revenue, according to Casey Knight, a recruiter familiar with their practice but who did not work with them on the transition.
The move of a solid but not all-star team says as much about Ameriprise’s eagerness to recruit as it does about the continuing drain of brokers from Wells Fargo Advisors private client group almost two years after the first disclosure of fake-account scandals at its sister bank. Most firms are reluctant to seed the costs of a new branch for brokers with production of under $2 million, Knight said.
Burg and Colon are above-average producers at Ameriprise, which reported average annualized revenue per advisor of $603,000 in the second quarter.
Burg, who began his brokerage career in 1986 at Diversified Securities, and Colon, who first registered as a broker in 2001 with Morgan Stanley, did not return requests for comment on their move.
Ameriprise ranks as one of the most aggressive retail brokerage recruiters. Its top offer for employee channel prospects reaches 320% of brokers’ trailing-12-month production, including front-end and back-end bonuses. (The majority of Ameriprise’s advisors are independent brokers who contract to sell investments through the firm.)
Ameriprise’s employee channel headcount as of the end of the second quarter had grown by 9% from a year earlier to 2,176 brokers. Its independent channel roster was up 3% to 7,730 brokers.
Wells Fargo Advisors, for its part, continues to lose teams despite sweetening deals for both prospects and for headhunters who successfully introduce prospects to its private client, bank brokerage, independent or correspondent clearing channels. The St. Louis-based broker-dealer’s advisor force has declined by more than 850 over the past 22 months.
Stifel Nicolaus last week recruited a Wells team jointly based in Spokane Wash. and Pasadena, Calif., that was producing around $2 million. RBC Wealth Management-U.S. in July lured a Wells branch manager in Nashville and Raymond James in June hired a Wells team overseeing $170 million in client assets in Santa Rosa, Calif.