First Republic Lands Big California Producer from UBS
First Republic Bank has picked up its second multi-million dollar producer in a week, this time from UBS Wealth Management USA in Newport Beach, Calif.
Gregory Zappas, a broker with 21 years’ experience who joined UBS in 2011, left for First Republic on Friday, according to sources familiar with his practice.
Zappas, who produced $2 million of fees and commissions in 2018 and oversaw about $500 million of customer assets, was a solo practitioner in UBS’s private wealth management division for very wealthy clients.
Zappas could not be reached for comment about his decision to leave UBS, which put up barriers to experienced brokers’ exits when it left the Protocol for Broker Recruiting a little over a year ago.
A UBS spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
San Francisco-based First Republic, which branched from traditional trust and private banking into wealth management and investment services with its 2012 purchase of registered investment advisory firm Luminous Capital Holdings, has been aggressively pursuing high-end brokers with lucrative offers.
Last Friday, it hired an 11-person team from Wells Fargo Advisors that was producing $4.7 million. In November, broker Steven H. Levine, who was generating around $6 million of annual revenue at a UBS branch in Los Angeles, led his four-person team to First Republic.
In June 2018, First Republic seeded the Newport Beach branch that Zappas joined with a Wells Fargo Advisors team that produced around $8 million on $850 million of customer assets
First Republic, which was added to the S&P 500 this month and was briefly owned by Merrill Lynch, ended 2018 with around 170 brokers in 72 offices, according to its website. Several of its wealth management executives were former Merrill managers.
Fees generated by First Republic brokers have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 24% over the past five years, the company said in a recent presentation. In the fourth quarter, the bank’s private wealth business contributed 14.2% of its total revenue, up from 13.6% in the previous year.
Zappas began his brokerage career in 1997 with a ten-year stint at U.S. Trust, and spent another four years at Merrill after its parent purchased the private bank. Prior to his brokerage career, he worked in the marketing department of pension fund manager Pacific Century Advisors, according to his UBS biography.