Citi, Wells Lose Vets as Banks Sharpen Recruiting Knives
After devoting almost his entire career to motivating brokers at Citigroup to sell investments through its bank branches, Drue C. Anderson has shifted loyalties.
The regional director of Citi’s Personal Wealth Management Group in greater New York City has moved regions and homes, joining J.P. Morgan Chase as regional director in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, according to a person familiar with his switch after almost 16 years.
Anderson, who ranked in 2013 as “Bank Investment Consultant” magazine’s number three manager, did not return a call for comment and his new affiliation is not yet recorded on Broker Check. But his LinkedIn site says he is a managing director for banking and wealth management and is working out of Indianapolis. (He also went to high school in the state, according to his social network site.)
The move, which comes despite Citigroup’s exit from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting in January, betrays a newly aggressive stance in the relatively staid waters of in-bank brokerage. In the “Bank Investment Consultant” profile of Anderson, he appeared to be aiming at wirehouses by enunciating a goal of having the 50 advisors he was then overseeing boost their production from an average of $619,000 to over $1 million.
Wells Fargo Advisors last week told the industry that though brokers in its private client group branches remain protected by the Protocol, the pact does not apply to brokers working from Wells’s retail banking branches. That means the bank can sue to block employees who leave for rivals from calling their former customers for business.
By ring-fencing brokers in bank branches, the banks are showing a renewed emphasis on the importance of retaining brokers in all their channels at a time when they have pulled back on expensive recruiting of experienced brokers and when few new brokers are being trained to replace an aging force of veterans.
They also are belying the traditional notion that bank-housed brokers paid primarily through a salary-and-bonus formula are not as remunerative as those in brokerage-only branches who are more aggressive because they pocket a percentage of the fees and commissions they generate from customers.
In another sign of the commercial banks’ new appetite for wealth-management producers, First Republic Bank is continuing its opportunistic recruiting of veterans while traditional brokerage firms backpedal.
While the San Francisco-based bank has primarily been focusing on hiring on the West Coast and in New York, it said Friday that it recruited 29-year brokerage veteran Bill Grinnell and his partner Darin Souza in Boston. The team, along with junior advisor, Sarah Wheeler and a client associate, had been generating around $1.5 million in annual revenue at Wells Fargo Advisors, said a person familiar with their practice.
Their sojourn at Wells was short, having joined in February 2016 from the U.S. brokerage unit of Credit Suisse that the Swiss bank had shut down. Reached at his new office, Grinnell declined to discuss his motivation for moving. A spokesman for First Republic also declined to comment.
Credit Suisse had encouraged its more than 300 orphaned brokers to join Wells, but many took deals from UBS and other wirehouses, leading to a raiding claim against UBS by its Swiss rival and to dozens of claims by former brokers for deferred pay being held by Credit Suisse.
A growing group of those who went to Wells, meanwhile, are restless, complaining that it failed to hold Credit Suisse to a promise that they would have near-exclusive access to the retail tranche of equity and debt offerings from the Swiss bank.
Spokespeople at JPMorgan and Citi did not immediately return a request for comment.
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.