Independence Day: Six UBS Brokers in Three Regions Join Indie Firms
(Story updated to correct AUM total of departing brokers in second paragraph.)
Six UBS Wealth Management brokers in three regions declared their independence ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend.
The brokers, who sources said were managing about $650 million of client assets, joined existing independent firms that clear or custody client assets through affiliates of Raymond James, Wells Fargo and Kestra Financial.
In Clearwater, Florida, Christopher McAdoo and Richard W. Humphrey left UBS to join Steward Partners, an independent affiliate of Raymond James Financial Services.
Along with two client associates, the team generated $2 million of revenue in the previous 12 months on around $250 million of UBS client assets, according to Chris Barton, a former Morgan Stanley manager who is divisional president of Steward offices in Texas and Florida.
Steward three years ago set up the Clearwater office, which now has ten brokers, and McAdoo and Humphrey knew UBS emigrant Dean Hoover who moved in 2018 and told them of the opportunity to own some equity in Steward, according to Barton.
“Many times teams love to see [that] the water is fine on the independent side, even cleaner,” Barton wrote in an e-mail, “and that advisors are thriving going independent.”
McAdoo and Humphrey made their shift on Wednesday, and were not available for comment, according to a Steward spokesman. McAdoo spent all but one of his 32 years as a broker with wirehouses, including UBS predecessor PaineWebber, Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney before his move back to UBS in 2006, according to BrokerCheck. Humphrey had spent his entire brokerage career of almost 20 years at UBS, according to the database.
In northwestern Ohio, UBS brokers Tyler McKean and Steven Hafner left on Tuesday to join True Alpha Wealth Management, a two-year-old independent broker founded by Merrill Lynch veterans that is a member of Kestra Private Wealth Services. Kestra PWS is an RIA with 24 offices—including four that opened this year—that is affiliated with Austin-based Kestra Financial.
McKean and Hafner collectively managed about $200 million and produced around $2 million, according to Kestra and True Alpha officials.
McKean, a Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisor based in Toledo, had been with Touchstone Wealth Partners, a former top-tier UBS team that shrunk when co-founder Craig Findley left under pressure last year to set up an RIA with ten of his former associates. He had been with UBS for more than eight years of his nine-year career.
Hafner, a 23-year industry veteran, joined UBS five years ago as a member of an $800 million-asset team in Sandusky, OH, led by Patrick R. Murray, according to his former website. He left in part over issues involving his effect on team-payout levels, said a person familiar with his practice. Hafner referred calls for comment to Kestra.
“They are a powerful addition for their region,” said Scott Wilson, chief operating officer of Kestra Private Wealth, without commenting on specifics of their production or practice.
Kestra pitches its services to wirehouse brokers who are willing to give up some payout in return for having the RIA pick up infrastructure costs and provide supplies and equipment, he said, and the pitch has taken on deeper resonance among the work-from-home constrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Kestra Private Wealth plans to open about eight practices this year, Wilson said.
In Hunt Valley, Md., former UBS brokers Troy Elser and Ryan Gutowski opened a fourth office for Seventy2 Capital Wealth Management, a Bethesda-based independent brokerage affiliated with Wells Fargo’s Financial Network (FiNet) channel. Elser worked for the first half of his 21-year brokerage career at Morgan Stanley, where he also worked as a branch manager, before joining UBS in 2009. Gutowski, who joined with a client associate from UBS, started his career seven years ago at the wirehouse’s Hunt Valley office.
The team was managing more than $200 million of assets at UBS, said Seventy2 Capital cofounder Tom Fautrel. He referred questions about Elser’s production to the adviser, who did not respond to a request for comment.
Seventy2 Capital offers its 16 advisors in four offices a cash-grid payout of 50-to-60 percent before what it splits with FiNet, and picks up virtually all their operational and regulatory charges, said Fautrel, who founded the firm three-and-a-half years ago with partner Paul Carlson after they left Merrill Lynch. The firm’s assets have grown from about $200 million to close to $1 billion, in part through the purchase of some practices, he said.
A spokesman at UBS Wealth Management USA declined to comment on the departures.
The firm’s U.S. broker count has declined to fewer than 6,000 from about 6,050 at the end of the first quarter, according to brokers citing internal rankings. (The total of all brokers in the Swiss bank Americas wealth business, including those in Latin America and Canada or servicing international clients from the U.S., was 6,496, according to UBS.)
Earlier this summer, three UBS Wealth teams that were managing more than $800 million in assets in Virginia and Washington State left to join RBC Wealth Management and the private client brokerage channel of Wells Fargo Advisors.