More Advisors Jump from Wells in Southwest
Wells Fargo Advisors head David Kowach kvells on a new video posted on the firm’s website that “the privilege of witnessing our financial advisor and team members helping clients live better lives” is key to understanding “why I love my job.”
Unfortunately for Kowach, the number of advisors he’s watching continued to shrink last week.
On Friday, Jason Holland, a sole practitioner in Dallas who was generating more than $2 million of revenue for Wells and had worked at the firm since 2005, left to join J.P. Morgan Securities’ burgeoning Texas brokerage operation, encompassing offices in Dallas and Houston. He arrived at the Dallas branch with two client associates, said one of the team members.
Holland, who began his career in 1999 at UBS Financial Services, was busy working with clients and could not immediately comment, the associate said when contacted on Monday. A J.P. Morgan Securities spokeswoman said that Holland had been managing over $240 million in customer assets at Wells and will focus on growing his “ultra-high-net-worth client base.”
In Oklahoma City, veteran Wells advisors Joey Sager and DeWayne Crunk turned in their brokerage licenses in late September to become partners at Venturi Wealth Management, a registered investment advisory firm founded three years ago by former Merrill Lynch private banking and investment group brokers Russell Norwood and George Clark.
“A lot of things have changed at Wells, and it was getting harder for them to grow the firm and do business,” said Norwood, who returned a call made to Sager and Crunk.
The team, who joined with two client associates, were managing a little over $300 million, said Norwood, whose RIA prior to its expansion into Oklahoma was overseeing about $790 million for about 75 high-net-worth clients.
Sager and Crunk initially planned to set up their own independent advisory boutique, but formed the partnership with Venturi after a nine-month courtship that came courtesy of Raymond James Financial, one of three custodians used by the RIA, Norwood said.
Sager, who began his brokerage career at Merrill Lynch in 1985, was ranked as the top Oklahoma broker in Barron’s 2009 rankings. Like Norwood, whose RIA is named for a fuel-pressure measurement term, Sager is an amateur pilot.
Crunk first registered as a broker in 1986 at Merrill, and also worked for more than 20 years at Smith Barney and RBC Capital Markets before joining Wells in 2013, according to his BrokerCheck history.
Wells Fargo Advisors’ brokerage count has fallen by about 860 since its parent company’s September 2016 disclosure of a regulatory settlement over fake bank and credit card accounts. The declines continue amid headlines about other investigations into what critics have characterized as a hyper-charged corporate sales culture, despite premium fees that Wells Fargo Advisors is offering headhunters to attract brokers from other firms.
A Wells Fargo Advisors spokeswoman did not respond to several requests for comment about the latest moves out of the retail brokerage operation.