Morgan Stanley Scores Two Teams from UBS in Ohio
A team of four advisors and four associates who were producing about $6 million of annual revenue at a UBS Wealth Management office in New Albany, Ohio, left on Monday for Morgan Stanley.
The departure of the group, led by producing branch manager Michael Platte, followed that of a three-broker team in the same office to Morgan Stanley four weeks ago. The UBS branch in the Columbus suburb now has four advisors, according to a company website.
The exodus to a rival wirehouse reflects what Morgan Stanley executives have recently said is a re-commitment to recruiting experienced brokers after a budget-cutting pause.
The company, whose wealth division provides more than 40% of its revenue, last month hired a pair of career-UBS brokers in Houston who were producing about $4 million and a UBS broker in Long Island who was managing $215 million. Morgan Stanley also hired 31-year UBS veteran broker Richard Markey from UBS in Houston at the end of August.
The UBS brokers who left the New Albany branch on Monday included Platte, Lance White, Matthew Penrod and five associates. White and Platte ranked 39th and 65th, respectively, on Forbes’ 2019 list of the top 120 Ohio wealth advisors.
The team, which Forbes said managed $791 million of client assets as of mid-February, is currently working at a branch in Dublin, but will move to a new Morgan Stanley office in New Albany, said a person who spoke on condition of anonymity. The brokers’ due diligence included consideration of Raymond James Financial, among others, the person said.
The longest industry-tenured member of their team, Stephanie McCurdy, did not make the move. “I’m happy with UBS,” the 35-year veteran said, declining further comment. Like Platte and Penrod, she had previously worked at Ohio regional firm McDonald Investments, which UBS bought in February 2007.
The other UBS team that left New Albany to join a Morgan Stanley branch in Columbus on September 6 includes 32-year industry veteran Jeff Simpson and advisors Allan Covert and Allan Reta. Their customers include families in eastern Ohio and West Virginia who came into “sudden and considerable” wealth from shale oil and gas royalty income, according to their UBS website.
A person answering the phone at their new office said the brokers did not want to comment on their move. The team aims to work with clients who have at least $500,000 of investable assets, according to Simpson’s UBS web biography. Simpson, who began his career at Merrill Lynch, also joined UBS in 2007 by way of McDonald, according to his BrokerCheck record.
Peter Kaldis, UBS’ northern Ohio market head, declined to comment on the departures. The four brokers remaining in the New Albany office include Charles Dankworth, who ranked 23rd among Barron’s top Ohio advisors in its latest poll.
Michael J. McVicker, UBS Wealth Americas’ head of business and change management, recently wrote a rallying memo to managers, highlighting the hiring of 11 “quality” advisors overseeing $1.3 billion from early July through late September. The memo was written a few days before the $4 million Houston team left for Morgan Stanley.
Both UBS and Morgan Stanley exited the Protocol for Broker Recruiting almost two years ago, making it easier for the firms to prohibit exiting brokers from actively soliciting former clients in the initial stages of their new practices.
UBS last week put some of the Platte team on suspension when word of their imminent departure leaked, according to a well-placed source.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed the arrival of the two Ohio teams, but declined further comment. Spokespeople at UBS did not respond to a request for comment.