Morgan Stanley Adds Wells and J.P. Morgan Brokers, Loses NYC Pair to William Blair
Morgan Stanley has added six brokers from Wells Fargo Advisors and J.P. Morgan Securities with combined annual revenue of $5.5 million, underscoring its revived ambitions to hire traditional and bank-branch-based prospects.
Deprimio spent the bulk of his 32-year career as a bond sales-trader at Wedbush Securities and Brookstreet Securities, shifting to retail brokerage four years ago at a Wells bank branch in affluent Newport Beach.
“They are wealthy and fixed-income oriented, and I resonated with them,” he said of the branch’s clients, noting that he grew his book from zero to $80 million in his first 12 months on the job.
Sessions, a broad-based financial planner who began his 13-year brokerage career at Bank of America, teamed with Deprimio about a year ago. Cost-cutting that affected management and back-office support after Wells merged its bank-based brokers into the broader private client group prompted their search for a new firm, Deprimio said
They seriously weighed an offer from RBC Wealth Management, but were persuaded by positive reviews they had heard about Justin Frame, Morgan Stanley’s Irvine branch manager, and by the firm’s platform. “We didn’t move for the check,” he said, noting that they signed a relatively standard promissory note on forgivable loans.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment on their departures, or those of the other advisors.
Algarin, who joined Wells in 2012 after eight years with Wachovia Securities and then Unionbanc Investment Services, did not return a call for comment. Alefi, who started his brokerage career in 2001 at Banc of America Investment Services and worked for a year at Merrill Lynch, had been with Wells since 2011. He also did not respond to a request for comment about his move to the Irvine branch on Tuesday.
Morgan Stanley last week also nabbed Scott Lowe, a $742,000 Wells Fargo Advisors private client group broker in Bowling Green, Ky., who oversaw about $140 million in client assets, according to the source. Lowe, who joined Wells in 2007 after 23 years with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, did not return a call for comment.
In New York City, Morgan Stanley reached into J.P. Morgan Securities to recruit Henry “Morgan” Lawrence from a midtown branch where he had worked for more than eight years. The 22-year securities industry veteran had been managing $308 million in client assets and was generating $2.5 million in annual revenue, the source said.
Lawrence, who also worked at Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers, whose capital markets and banking businesses Barclays bought during the financial crisis, did not return a call for comment. A J.P. Morgan spokeswoman declined to comment.
Morgan Stanley on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend also recruited five veteran advisors from Merrill Lynch and UBS Wealth Management in Florida and Alabama who collectively were producing $9.5 million at their former firms in the previous year. The firm, which retreated from active recruiting two years ago, told its managers a few months ago to “selectively” re-enter the market and to consider advisers familiar with loans and other “liability” products it has been promoting.
January has not been all additive for Morgan Stanley. It lost five veteran advisors last Friday to Rockefeller Capital in Atlanta and Boca Raton who were collectively producing about $8.3 million. The previous week Rockefeller lured a $1.3-billion-asset advisory team from Morgan Stanley in Atlanta.
Regional broker-dealer William Blair & Co. on January 3 recruited Eve Ellis and Nikolay Djibankov from Morgan Stanley’s 1290 Sixth Avenue branch in midtown Manhattan, the Chicago-based firm said in a press release.
Billed as the Matterhorn Group, they specialize in impact investing, and had been managing over $200 million in client assets, according to Ellis, who moved to Morgan Stanley in 2009 after a few months at Smith Barney and ten years at Merrill Lynch. Djibankov, who first registered in the industry with Goldman Sachs’ family office in 2008, had been with Morgan Stanley for seven years.
They comanage a Gender Parity Portfolio and a Diversity & Inclusion Portfolio, according to their Blair biographies.
“Nikolay and I are pleased to join…an independent firm with a collaborative culture and extensive resources,” Ellis wrote in an emailed statement.
William Blair’s wealth management unit, which has 110 advisors, plans to expand into southern California, Colorado and other “select markets,” the company wrote in the release.