First Republic Hires $5-Million UBS Team in Los Angeles
First Republic Bank has hired another team from UBS Wealth Management USA in Los Angeles, the second to leave the wirehouse for the bank’s Century City wealth management office in two months.Ronald Weckbacher and Gregory Webster, who worked for 11 of their respective 36 and 25 years as brokers with UBS, joined First Republic on Friday, according to their BrokerCheck histories. They had generated about $5 million in annual revenue for UBS on about $325 million in client assets, said a person who claimed familiarity with their book of business.
San Francisco-based First Republic has fewer than 200 traditional brokers to complement its core private banking activities, but has been offering lucrative hiring packages to experienced advisers on the West and East coasts to build the smaller business.
Sanah Chung, John B. Barnes and the father-son team of Joseph Lally and Joe, Jr. who were producing about $11 million at UBS in Los Angeles, joined First Republic’s Century City office six weeks ago. Last year, $6-million UBS producer Steven H. Levine left a UBS branch in Los Angeles for the First Republic outpost.
Spokespeople at UBS did not immediately return a request for comment.
“Ron Weckbacher and Greg Webster are terrific additions to our expanding team of wealth management professionals in the greater Los Angeles area,” Bob Thornton, president of First Republic private wealth management, said in a prepared statement.
The brokers could not be reached for comment on their move.
Weckbacher worked for 24 years at Morgan Stanley in Burbank before joining UBS’s Beverly Hills branch in November 2008. He began his career in 1983 with a brief stint at Mauney Company, according to his unmarked BrokerCheck history.
Webster began his brokerage career with Morgan Stanley in Burbank in December 1993, and similarly moved to UBS after 15 years in November 2008.
First Republic’s wealth management unit had $140 billion in client assets as of September 30, up 7% from the prior year, according to its third quarter earnings report.
While some veteran advisers at brokerage firms owned by large banks have chafed against growing pressure to sell credit and other banking products to their investor customers, those joining First Republic are not looking for a change from that trend.
In a presentation to investors on Monday, First Republic officials identified cross-marketing as one of its key growth drivers.
Bankers referred customers with $6.1 billion of assets under management to their wealth management brethren in 2018, up from $4.6 billion in 2017, they said. Nevertheless, 91% of banking clients are not now using wealth management services while 39% of investors with the bank’s brokers have not used a bank product.