Morgan Stanley Loses Million-Dollar Brokers in Missouri and Texas
(Updates with confirmation of Castro’s move by an Ameriprise spokesperson.)
A brother-sister team with Morgan Stanley in Missouri jumped to Wells Fargo Advisors last week, another victory in the latter’s battle to replenish advisor depletion in the wake of its lingering reputational battle.
Jeffrey L. Layman and Lisa Jordison made the move last Thursday, depleting Morgan Stanley’s Springfield office of a team that was producing around $1.5 million in annual revenue, which one source said made them the most successful of the office’s approximately 15 brokers.
Jeffrey Layman began his brokerage career almost 26 years with A.G. Edwards, and had been with Morgan Stanley since 2002, according to his BrokerCheck history. His sister first registered as a broker in 2012, with Morgan Stanley, and worked from its Leawood, Kansas, office, the Finra database says.
Layman and his sister are largely discretionary managers, with individual and “institutional clients” in 24 states, according to his former Morgan Stanley website biography and to a person familiar with their practice. She began working with her brother in a non-registered capacity a year earlier, and was selected for Morgan Stanley’s Pacesetter Club for successful young advisors in 2015, 2016 and 2017, according to a biography on her former firm’s website.
A sales associate who moved with the pair confirmed the move, as did a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman. Neither of the advisors returned requests for comment on the motivation for their move.
Wells Fargo Advisors, which listed nine advisors on the website for its Springfield private client group office before the new team joined, has lost more than 900 brokers net since late 2016—including 576 in the last 12 months—following its parent bank’s disclosure of fake-account scandals for retail bank customers and other subsequently disclosed improprieties. The problems have led to the departure of two Wells Fargo chief executives.
Wells’ brokerage executives have approved enhanced hiring bonuses, including deals that can reach as high 325% of trailing 12-month (T-12) production for brokers generating $500,000 or more of revenue and 275% for those between $250,000 and $499,999. The bank also has extended its offer of premium fees to outside headhunters who successfully recruit brokers into any of its advisory businesses in bank, brokerage or independent channel offices.
Two weeks ago, a $4-million team of quarter-century brokerage veterans who had been with Morgan Stanley for more than a decade, joined Wells Fargo Advisors’ private client group branch in Santa Barbara, California.
Separately, Nora V. Castro, a top-ranked Morgan Stanley advisor in Austin, Texas, joined Ameriprise Financial’s employee branch channel in that city in February after managing some $227 million in client assets, a spokeswoman for Ameriprise confirmed.
Castro, a sole practitioner, ranked 50th in Forbes’ 2019 honor roll of top advisors in Texas. The 34-year industry veteran did not respond to a request for comment.
Castro began her licensed brokerage career in 1985 with Drexel Burnham Lambert, according to her BrokerCheck history, and subsequently worked at Oppenheimer, Merrill Lynch and Wachovia Securities prior to joining Morgan Stanley in the summer of 2008.
Ameriprise rolled out its own enhanced recruiting deal last spring to attract brokers to its employee channel. It had 2,176 advisors in the business unit as of the end of 2018, down 2%, from yearend 2017. Its larger unit of independent brokers, which it calls “franchise” employees, ended last year with 7,755 advisors.
Ameriprise had $558 million in outstanding recruitment loans to financial advisors at the end of 2018, up 9.6% from $509 million at the end of 2017, according to a 10-k filing from February.