Longtime UBS Manager Joins Wedbush to Run Branches
Wedbush Securities continues to fill out its revamped retail brokerage management team, hiring 35-year retail brokerage veteran Donald “Don” Gorsch to oversee its employee-channel offices.Gorsch left UBS Wealth Management USA in June after 25 years spent primarily managing its Pasadena office, and joined Los Angeles-based Wedbush in late August, according to his BrokerCheck history. The firm employs about 290 brokers in about 100 offices, who Gorsch will oversee, and also has 111 independent contractors across the U.S.
Wedbush in June hired former UBS manager Robert Limmer, who is based in New York, to run its independent channel. Last month, it recruited veteran Stifel Nicolaus manager Frank Story to oversee its employee branches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Wedbush earlier this year named Christopher M. Mone, who worked at UBS between 2003 and 2013, to head its overall wealth business. Gorsch and Limmer report to Mone.
Known in southern California advisory circles as a strong recruiter, Gorsch grew revenue at UBS’s Pasadena branch to $42 million, a 12% annual compound growth rate over his 21-year tenure as manager in the office, according to a news release from Wedbush. He joined UBS predecessor PaineWebber in1994 as an assistant branch manager, and began his brokerage career with E.F. Hutton in 1984.
Gorsch was unhappy with UBS’s pullback from recruiting and its consequent effect on managers’ performance goals and compensation, said a person who claimed to be familiar with his decision to leave the firm. Gorsch did not respond to a request for comment,
Wedbush was long associated with its eponymous co-founder Ed Webush, who opened the firm in 1955 as a small-to-midcap banking firm with arms in retail brokerage and correspondent clearing. He resigned last year as chief executive, following a chain of regulatory settlements.
The privately-held firm, which in June agreed to an $8.1 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over pre-released American Depositary Receipts, is now led by co-presidents Gary Wedbush and former clearing head Richard Jablonski.
As part of Mone’s effort to tighten operational processes in the retail brokerage business, he hired J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Andrea Epinger in July to the new position of head of “change management and process improvement.” She began her career as a registered rep in 1994 with UBS in Santa Barbara, according to her BrokerCheck history.