Rockefeller Hires $4.5-Mln Morgan Stanley and $3-Mln Merrill Teams
(Headline and story revises production numbers for both teams, based on data from Rockefeller.)
Rockefeller Capital has added two more wirehouse notches to its widening belt, recruiting a $1.5 billion-asset team from Morgan Stanley Private Wealth in New York and a Philadelphia-area team from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management servicing about $500 million of client assets, according to sources.
The New York team is captained by John Sargent, whose two-advisor team produced $4.5 million of revenue at Morgan Stanley in the past 12 months, according to a Rockefeller spokeswoman. Sargent, who ranked #70 on Forbes’ 2020 list of top New York advisors, did not respond to several for requests for comment about his decision or his metrics.
He had been with Morgan Stanley since becoming an advisor in October 2003, following a career as a “Wall Street Journal” advertising executive, according to his Morgan Stanley web biography. The Yale graduate, who also worked from a Morgan Stanley office in Greenwich, Conn., joined Rockefeller with fellow advisor Dan Marchon and a client associate.
Marchon has been a broker since 2018, after beginning his career as a bank stock analyst at Raymond James & Associates in 2011 and working as an analyst at a family office, according to his BrokeCheck history and Morgan Stanley biography. (One member of the Sargent team, portfolio strategy associate Alex Hoerle, remains at Morgan Stanley.)
The two-advisor team that Rockefeller hired to open its first Philadelphia-area outpost (in Conshohocken) is led by Jeff H. Harvey, who had been with Merrill for all of his almost 26-year brokerage career until Friday, according to his BrokerCheck history.
The team, which also includes 13-year Merrill lifetime broker Sean Seese, produced about $3 million, the Rockefeller spokeswoman said. In addition to the two brokers, they moved with three associates, while one remains at Merrill.
The hires bring the number of teams recruited at Rockefeller Global Family Office since its parent’s two-year-old recapitalization to 24, with 48 advisors.
The newest arrivals were brought in through Michael Parker, one of a slew of veteran managers Fleming has hired to tap their recruiting networks. Two other Morgan Stanley teams were hired in Atlanta two weeks ago by former Morgan Stanley southeast regional director Michael Outlaw.
Morgan Stanley also lost a million-dollar advisor near Philadelphia in recent days, but the beneficiary was Raymond James Financial’s employee channel.
Rick Wagner Jr., a 21-year industry veteran who has been with Morgan Stanley and predecessor Smith Barney since 1999, confirmed in an interview that he joined RayJay on February 11th after generating $1.2 million in annual revenue at the wirehouse. He was overseeing around $150 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley.
Wagner declined to comment on his reasons for moving. His former Morgan Stanley producing branch manager, Matthew T. Pruitt, moved to Raymond James’s Doylestown branch with his $252 million-asset team in June.
A spokeswoman at Morgan Stanley confirmed the departures but declined further comment. The wirehouse dropped out of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting two years ago as it was trimming its recruiting budget and looking for ways to toughen restraints on brokers, but in recent months has restored its appetite for hiring experienced brokers, according to recruiters and firm officials. Last month Morgan Stanley appointed veteran complex manager Ben Firestein to become head of national recruiting.
A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment about the departure of the Harvey team.
Raymond James also has been targeting experienced advisors to fuel its rapidly growing salesforce, though it says it promotes a broker-centric culture rather than the lucrative recruiting bonuses typical of more aggressive competitors. The firm ended 2019 with 8,060 advisors, more than UBS Wealth Management Americas, and reported a 5% increase in its employee channel brokerage force over the past year.