Merrill Hires UBS Manager and Former Training Head in New York
Heather Gifford, a longtime UBS Wealth Management USA executive who ran training until last summer and then became the firm’s Northeast division sales manager, is joining Merrill Lynch Wealth in New York City, according to sources familiar with the move.Gifford, who has spent half of her almost 24-year brokerage career with UBS, dropped her registration with the firm late last month and is expected to join Merrill following a garden leave, said a person briefed on her plans.
Gifford did not respond to a request for comment sent via social media, and a Merrill spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment.
Gifford joined UBS as a director of “advanced financial advisor development” in early 2007, and rose within its training ranks to become head of talent and development for the Swiss bank’s U.S. wealth operations from September 2015 until last June, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also served for ten months as head of corporate financial planning, and last June was named to the divisional sales management post in New York.
Training has become an increasingly important function at wirehouses that have been dramatically cutting their experienced-broker recruiting budgets, but UBS AG’s global cost-cutting campaigns led it earlier this year to cut its program for financial plan training.
Gifford joined UBS in 2007 after a six-month stint at SunTrust Investment Services, according to her BrokerCheck record. She first registered as a securities rep in 1995 with IDS Life Insurance/American Express Financial Advisors, remaining there for 11 years as it evolved into Ameriprise Financial Services before shifting to SunTrust.