De-Wired: $1-Bln UBS Trio Joins Stifel, $675-Mln Morgan Stanley Quartet to RBC
Stifel Nicolaus and RBC Wealth Management attracted advisors with long wirehouse lineages this week.
Gary Bice, Michael Leach and John Prebay—who collectively had been with UBS Wealth Management for 37 years managing about $1 billion of client assets at its Birmingham, Mich. branch—jumped on Monday to Stifel’s 13-advisor office in Southfield, according to a Stifel spokesman.
Bice said he could not immediately comment on his decision to join the regional firm after more than three decades at wirehouses because he was “in the middle of transferring accounts.” Leach and Prebay did not return calls for comment.
In Beverly Hills, RBC Wealth U.S. attracted a quartet of Morgan Stanley veterans on Monday who it said were managing about $675 million.
Led by Mike Ladge, an executive director who was in Morgan Stanley’s production-based President’s Club and had been with the firm for 14 of his 23 years as a broker, the team also includes Shon Saleh, a 40-year industry veteran, 23-year advisor Joseph Sulentor (who played minor league baseball with the Minnesota Twins, according to his Morgan Stanley biography) and 18-year advisor Brandon Allen.
The team specializes in serving “professional athletes, entertainers, technology entrepreneurs and business owners,” RBC said in a press release, and were attracted by RBC’s affiliation with L.A.-based City National Bank, which focuses on entertainment industry accounts and which Royal Bank of Canada bought in 2015.
“Many of our clients already bank at City National, and we will bring even greater synergy to those experiences,” Ladge, who also has worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and UBS, said in a prepared statement. “In addition, the culture, leadership and platform at RBC were all key in our decision to move.”
“Each and every day, you have to perform in the moment and prepare for the next,” he wrote on his Morgan Stanley team website, where he portrays himself as a tell-it-like-it-is coach to “NFL Pro-Bowlers, Grammy winners, entertainers, entrepreneurs and high-level business executives” who often have careers that are “inherently condensed and fickle––changing course because of one injury on the field, or piece of bad press off of it.”His mission statement, according to the site: “There will be tough honesty. I will tell you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear.”
Ladge was himself sued in 2018 by a former client associate who alleged sexual harassment. The case was dismissed by the parties following a stipulated settlement, according to court records.
Ladge did not return a call for comment on his team’s move.
It occurred the same week that a slew of Morgan Stanley advisors internally designated as “sports and entertainment directors” tweeted pre-approved messages promoting the firm’s new affiliation with the NFL Players Association financial advisor network. “With over 85 years of experience in wealth management, Morgan Stanley is on a mission with the NFLPA to bring sports professionals the ﬁnancial experience they deserve. The gridiron endgame starts here.”
RBC Wealth Management, which has about 2,000 U.S. brokers, has been targeting wirehouse brokers.
In June, it hired 35-year industry veteran Mark Bilski from UBS, where he was reportedly producing more than $7 million, and a Morgan Stanley group in St. Louis managing $500 million. Last month, it lured a Wells Fargo Advisors broker in Dallas who was managing $370 million, and two Merrill Lynch teams managing about $340 million in combined client assets in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Separately, Wells Fargo Advisors last week reached into Morgan Stanley to hire Joseph Matthew, a 25-year veteran of wirehouses who is based in New Haven, Conn., while Robert W. Baird hired a Morgan Stanley team near Pittsburgh.
Matthew, who moved on August 4, produced $700,000 on more than $150 million of client assets in the past 12 months at his former branch in New Haven, Conn., according to Wells Fargo. The advisor, who began his brokerage career at Prudential Securities, said he could not immediately comment on the motivation for his jump to Wells Fargo Advisors’ private client group.
Wells has been offering premium signing deals to brokers that, at top production levels, can total three times trailing-12-month revenue. They are aimed at replacing more than 1,000 advisors who left after the company’s disclosure of its fake bank account scandal four years ago.
The Morgan Stanley team that joined Baird in Cranberry Township, Pa., last Friday is led by Steve Fischetti, a 36-year veteran of Shearson Lehman, PaineWebber, Legg Mason and Smith Barney who was most recently a producing branch manager in Upper St. Clair, Pa. His team includes fellow advisor C. Shannon Barr, who began his brokerage career in 2008 with Smith Barney, and two client assistants.
The team was managing more than $280 million, Baird said in a news release.