More Wirehouse Teams Jump to Regional Rivals
Wirehouses continue to dominate the retail brokerage industry in terms of brute salesforce strength, but the erosion of veteran brokers to regional firms and independence has continued apace this spring.Ameriprise, which last year fattened its recruiting deal, welcomed the lifetime Morgan Stanley team of Paige Hatton and Peter Sullivan in Tampa, Florida, two weeks ago to its employee broker channel, a company spokeswoman confirmed. Joined by two client associates, they had managed about $338 million of customer assets at Morgan Stanley, she said.
Hatton had been with Morgan Stanley and its Dean Witter predecessor since 1982. (His late father, Lon, a certified financial planner, retired from Morgan Stanley in 2005, according to an online obituary.) Sullivan began his brokerage career in 1993 in Tampa with Morgan Stanley, and Cindy Capezutti had been a registered client associate with the wirehouse for her entire 24-year career, according to their BrokerCheck records.
Neither of the advisors, who joined Ameriprise’s employee channel on May 10 with managing director titles, returned requests for comment on their motivations for moving after their long histories with their former firm.
Ameriprise, which also on May 10 hired a 21-year veteran of Wells Fargo Financial Advisors whose private client group team was managing about $196 million, ended the first quarter with 9,979 brokers—most in its independent contractor channel—and has been increasing its forgivable loans to attract more veteran advisors.
A spokeswoman at Morgan Stanley, which like Merrill Lynch and UBS Wealth Management USA has been trimming its experienced-broker recruiting budget, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Morgan Stanley ended its first quarter with just over 15,700 brokers.
Merrill Lynch, which reported that its broker force fell slightly during the first quarter to just under 14,800, lost a team in Allentown, Pa., led by 27-year firm veteran William “Rusty” Seyle on May 3 to the employee channel of Raymond James Financial.
His seven-person team—four of whom moved with him—were producing about $3.6 million of annual revenue on about $1.01 billion of customer assets, Raymond James said in a news release. The practice, which also includes broker Timothy Hickey, who spent the last 25 years of his almost 26-year career as a registered rep with Merrill, services corporate retirement plan committees as well as the usual run of high net worth families and business owners, according to the release.
Seyle, a Savannah, Georgia-raised former punter at Clemson University whose wife is from Allentown, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. One adviser on his team, Brendan Nosovitch, remains at Merrill, according to a person at the former office. Another advisor, Melissa Balser, left Merrill in March and is not currently registered with Finra, according to her BrokerCheck record.
Raymond James has been broadening its recruiting net beyond its southeast U.S. base in Florida, recently hiring a regional manager for New England from Morgan Stanley. RayJay ended the first quarter with 7,862 brokers across its employee and independent contractor channels, up 258 from 12 months earlier.