First Republic Strikes Again, Nabbing $5-Mln UBS Team in San Francisco
San Francisco’s First Republic Bank on Friday added to its growing collection of wirehouse-tempered financial advisors to the rich by hiring a pair of brokers who had worked at UBS Financial Services’ private wealth unit for the past ten years.
The five-person team is led by Mark Friedman, according to a well-placed source at First Republic. A person answering the team’s phone at their former UBS office in San Francisco confirmed that they had left on Friday.
The Friedman group, which includes fellow advisor Mitchell Peters, generated about $5 million of annual fees and commissions in the previous 12 months, the source said. The brokers’ former UBS website described them and three associates, who did not make the move, as a “highly functioning integrated team” that services “very wealthy individuals and families by leveraging efforts and resources of the UBS business group worldwide.”
Neither Friedman nor Peters returned calls for comment about their allegiance shift, which comes as UBS is focusing on retaining experienced brokers rather than paying big signing bonus to recruit new ones.
A spokeswoman at UBS did not respond to a request for comment.
Friedman’s 20-year career until now has been solely with wirehouses, according to his BrokerCheck history. He first registered as a broker with Merrill Lynch in 1997, moved to Smith Barney in 2000 and affiliated with UBS in 2007.
Peters began his brokerage career in 1996 at Cowen & Co., did subsequent stints with Hambrecht & Quist and its successor firm Chase Securities, and worked briefly as a “portfolio management consultant” before joining UBS in 2005, according to the team’s UBS biography.
First Republic, which was once owned by Merrill Lynch, has been aggressively hiring from Merrill and its large rivals over the past two years in California and New York. It recruited a $3.1 million UBS team in San Francisco in June and a $3.8 million group from the Swiss-owned broker-dealer in Los Angeles in February. Its most recent Merrill recruits included a $3 million team led by Danielle Ambrose and Diane Hirschhorn in that city.
First Republic also has larded its management team with veterans such as Brian Riley, the former head of Merrill private banking and investment group on the West Coast.