Independents Steward and Sanctuary Hire Brokers from Merrill, UBS
The steady drip of wirehouse brokers to independent broker-dealers is continuing as a Merrill Lynch duo in Austin joined Steward Partners on Friday while a UBS advisor in San Francisco joined Sanctuary Wealth.The Texas team of Gene E. Dooley, Charles “Wes” DeVoe and a client associate were producing $1.3 million at Merrill, they said, but were increasingly distracted by management efforts to have them cross-sell products of parent Bank of America.
“There are a lot of competing interests when you have a large bank involved,” said Dooley, 51, who became a broker ten years ago after a sales career in the tech industry. “I never was forced to do things, but it was taking time away from serving clients.”
Following a $50 million recapitalization in March, Washington, D.C.-based Steward now employs 112 advisors overseeing $12.5 billion of customer assets, according to Gregory Banasz, head of business development.
Dooley and DeVoe, 30, were searching for a change for about a year, they said, and gravitated to Steward because it gave them equity in addition to transition support.
The firm, which clears through Raymond James Financial Services, offers recruits an equity package of up to 100% of trailing-12 month production plus a similar amount in upfront cash, Banasz said.
The new Austin office hopes to eventually employ 10 to 14 advisors, said Chris Barton, who joined Steward as Texas complex manager from Morgan Stanley last year. Barton recruited veteran J.P. Morgan Securities broker Amy Sabin in Dallas earlier this month.
A Merrill spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Dooley’s remarks.
Sanctuary Wealth, founded by former Merrill Greater Midwest head James Dickson, hired Courtney Jones from UBS. Jones, who is calling her new firm Credo Wealth Management, specializes in managing corporate stock holdings for tech firm executives.
She had been with UBS for 16 years, according to her BrokerCheck profile, and also is registered as an arbitrator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Jones was not available to comment, a Sanctuary spokeswoman said.
She moved solo, according to Linda “Charlie” Campbell, her former partner who remains at the UBS. The split was “very amicable,” said Campbell, a 25-year industry veteran who had worked with Jones for about four years.
Sanctuary, which was founded as an independent-channel adjunct to Indianapolis regional David A. Noyes, works with around 65 brokers, many with Merrill lineages.Last month, it hired a $275-million asset team from Merrill in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Earlier this month it recruited an East Central, Texas, group that was overseeing about $626 million for Merrill customers and producing more than $2 million, according to Dickson.