Ameriprise, RayJay Pick Up Multi-Million Teams, from Wells and UBS
The drain from Wells Fargo Advisors and UBS Financial Services continues as two more multi-million-dollar teams have left to join “regional” firms.
In San Diego, California, three advisors and two assistants left the private client group of scandal-scarred Wells to join the employee-broker channel of Ameriprise. Simon D. Lewis, Laurens H. Rhinelander III, and Christopher B. Cohn, partners for about 15 years, had been generating around $3 million in annual commissions at Wells and were managing around $350 million in client assets, Rhinelander said.
The previously unreported move, which occurred on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, in part reflected frustration with persistent questions from clients and prospects about the investigations of shoddy sales practices that Wells brokers have endured since their sister retail bank’s fake account scandal was disclosed two years ago, Rhinelander said.
“All you have to do is pull up news stories over the last to years, and that’s enough,” he said. “It was not what we signed up for.”
A net 860 brokers have left Wells Fargo Advisors since the bank’s fake-account scandals broke in September 2016, leaving it with 14,200 at the end of the second quarter.
A spokeswoman at Wells Fargo declined to comment on the move and Rhinelander’s remarks. A spokeswoman at Ameriprise, which in May upped its recruiting deals to as high as 320% of a top broker’s trailing-12 production, said she could not immediately comment on the move.
Despite having spent most of their careers with wirehouses, the three partners were attracted to Ameriprise because their practices have evolved primarily into fee-based financial planning that is not dependent on bank ownership and that the Minneapolis-based firm has long supported, Rhinelander said. They did not choose an independent brokerage or advisory model because they wanted to avoid the hassles of running a business.
The three brokers had been with Wells since 2008, moving together from UBS. Lewis had joined UBS in 1997, after six years with M.L. Stern & Co. and Smith Barney, while Rhinelander joined the brokerage industry with UBS in 2000 and Cohn doing likewise in 2005.
UBS, for its part, lost three advisors over the Labor Day weekend who had been with its St. Louis branch for more than nine years.
Edward G. Henrichs, Martin E. Oberman and Bernard J. Haselhorst joined Raymond James & Associates, the Florida-based firm’s employee channel. The three had over $2 million in production, according to a source familiar with the move.
A person answering Henrichs’ phone at his new office said he was not available to comment, and Oberman and Haselhorst did not return requests for comments about the reasons for their move.
Spokespeople for Raymond James did not return multiple requests for comment on the new team, which markets itself as Premier Wealth Advisors.
Henrichs began his career at A.G. Edwards & Sons in 1995, moved to Merrill Lynch in 1996 and remained there more than 13 years before joining UBS, according to his BrokerCheck record. Oberman’s career had a similar trajectory, beginning directly with Merrill in 1996. Haselhorst began his career in 2000 at Merrill.
UBS’s headcount in the Americas has steadily declined over the past two years as the firm has pulled back from veteran broker hiring to focus on retention of larger teams. On Friday a $3-million production team left in Denver.
UBS had around 6,900 brokers at the end of the second quarter, which includes a small contingent of brokers in Latin America and is less than half the size of Wells and other wirehouse rivals.
A spokesman for UBS did not immediately return a request for comment.