Mega-Goldman Sachs Team in Los Angeles Leaves for First Republic
First Republic Bank cast its net again this week to land a Goldman Sachs team in Los Angeles that produces more than $14 million and oversees some $2.5 billion of assets for wealthy clients and their families, according to several sources.
Matthew Babrick and James M. Wilcox resigned on Thursday and will join First Republic’s private wealth group along with one associate following a three-month “garden leave” in which they are prohibited for two months from soliciting clients, said Roger Gershman, a San Francisco-based recruiter who said he is familiar with their practice.
Babrick and Wilcox did not respond to calls to their former offices and homes. A Goldman spokesman did not return a request for comment, and a First Republic spokesman declined to comment.
The San Francisco-based firm has evolved from traditional trust services to aggressively recruiting high-end brokerage teams since its $115 million purchase in December 2012 of Luminous Capital Holdings, an independent advisory firm led by former Merrill Lynch and Goldman brokers. In the past year, First Republic has hired teams in New York and its native California from Merrill, UBS and Goldman, whose unusual garden-leave requirements for wealth managers and sterling name had once made it difficult to recruit from.
Mark Sear, a founder of Luminous, said he knew some of the Babrick team from his early stint at Goldman but declined to elaborate on whether he was involved in its hiring. First Republic’s West Coast recruiting effort is steered in part by Brian Riley, a former regional manager of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group. First Republic also tapped former Merrill Wealth chief investment officer Chris Wolfe in 2016 to serve in a similar investments function for its East Coast advisors.
Babrick, who began his career at Merrill in 2003 and is married to a Los Angeles trust and estate lawyer, joined Goldman in 2007. Following his graduation from Indiana University, which he attended as a basketball scholarship student, he worked for three years as a men’s basketball coach at Stanford University, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Wilcox had spent his entire career at Goldman, which he joined in October 2000, according to his BrokerCheck history. He also worked as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Bill Archer of Texas before going to Columbia Business School in 1998, according to LinkedIn. His wife, Lindsay Wilcox, remains a broker with another team in Goldman Sachs’ Los Angeles branch.