Elderly Brokers at Wells and UBS in New York Get Pink Slips
UBS Wealth Management dismissed a venerable advisor in New York City who has been a broker for 41 years while Wells Fargo Advisors a month ago eased out a 36-year industry veteran. Neither have customer or other complaints listed on their BrokerCheck records.
In a litigious era where corporate sensitivity to age and gender discrimination is high, the dismissals are raising questions about how firms balance tightened compliance monitoring against individual rights.
UBS on Monday dismissed Julian Gingold, who had worked at a midtown Manhattan branch of the firm for more than 11 years and who first registered as a broker in 1971. Gingold declined to discuss the reason for his departure. “My clients are with me and can’t wait until I’m settled at a new place,” he said.
A source familiar with his business said he appears to have mismarked trades he initiated in some non-discretionary accounts as having been solicited by customers. Gingold, who sources said is in his 70s, declined to discuss his age and said his lawyer is negotiating with UBS.
“I defend my practice tremendously,” said Gingold, who has been featured in press reports about his advisory role to Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker during the 2016 primary campaign. All his political activities were cleared with U.S. authorities as part of his role as a director on several boards, he said.
Separately, Wells Fargo Advisors discharged a septuagenarian broker who had been in the industry for 36 years and had split time between offices in Norwich, NY, and Miromar Lakes, Fla.
Peter Vail Smith, who had been with the firm for 17 years, was let go for “violating company policies regarding professionalism,” according to the U5 dismissal notice that Wells has filed with regulators.
Smith, 72, who lost his post on March 26, could not be reached for comment at a publicly listed phone number. His team partner, Raymond Gregory, did not return a call for comment, and a Wells spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment.
Smith, who began his brokerage career at Merrill Lynch in 1979, produced more than $1 million annually in Wells Fargo Advisors’ small “Profit Formula” unit, according to people familiar with his practice. Wells in recent years has not been hiring into the business channel, which allows brokers larger payout percentages in return for picking up more of their expenses.