Reborn Alex. Brown Picks Up First Recruit, Wells Loses Big Indianapolis Team
(Clarifies Noyes assets under management in sixth paragraph to include the new hires.)
In its first advisor hire since being acquired in September by Raymond James Financial, the reborn Alex. Brown has recruited Craig Decker, who had been managing $250 million in client assets and last year produced more than $1.3 million in annual fees and commissions at RBC Capital Markets’ wealth management branch in Annapolis, Md.
Decker, an amateur yachtsman who is 51 and worked at the original Alex. Brown & Sons near the start of his career in 1997, said in an email that he focuses on “multi-generational” families with more than $25 mln in net worth and more than $13 million in investable assets. He had been at RBC and a predecessor firm for more than 17 years, and joined on November 4 with Emma Sterling, his client associate at RBC. Until their new Annapolis branch, Alex. Brown’s 17th, opens early next year, they will be based in Baltimore, Raymond James said.
Florida-based Raymond James bought what had been Deutsche Bank Wealth Management’s U.S. Private Client Services business for more than $500 million in an effort to beef up it “high-net-worth” client business. It renamed it Alex. Brown to reassure the division’s almost 200 brokers they would have a distinctive status, reviving the name of America’s oldest brokerage firm. Bankers Trust bought Baltimore-based Alex. Brown in 1997 and was itself bought by Deutsche Bank two years later.
“[W]e couldn’t be more pleased to not only have Craig be our first advisor recruit under the revived Alex. Brown flag, but also have him and Emma re-establish an Alex. Brown office in Annapolis where he began his career,” Alex Brown’s Washington, DC-Baltimore regional executive Marcus Aiello said in a prepared statement. Decker plans to hire additional brokers for the office when it opens early next year, it said.
Wells Loses Team
Separately, David A. Noyes & Co. made a splash on Monday by announcing its alliance with the 11-person Cooke Financial Group of Indianapolis, a team led by brothers Chris and Brian Cooke that had been managing $1.7 billion of client assets at Wells Fargo Advisors.
Noyes, which is based in Chicago, has around 60 advisors in offices in Illinois, Michigan and Indiana and manages $3.8 billion including assets that have transferred from the Cooke deal, a spokesman said.
The Cookes bought partnership shares in Noyes and instantly became Noyes’ largest branch. In an interview, Chris Cooke said he had been negotiating with Noyes for more than a year, long before Wells Fargo made headlines over its fake-account scandal. He declined to provide terms of the deal.
“Going to a smaller boutique firm is refreshing,” he said, noting that it allows him more leeway to invest in local investment banking deals. “You can set policies and be an equity owner.”
The Cookes, whose group includes advisors Nancy Hague, Lisa Grimes, Kevin McCurdy and six client associates, had been affiliated with Wells Fargo’s quasi-independent Profit Formula unit. Its brokers receive high payouts ranging from 68%-78% of revenue but cover many of their own operational expenses.
Chris and Brian Cooke began their brokerage careers at Prudential Securities in 1991 and 1992 respectively, staying with the firm through successive mergers into Wachovia in 2003 and into Wells Fargo in 2008.