Rockefeller, Wedbush Draw Managers from Wilmington Trust
Rockefeller Capital Management and Wedbush Securities, a contrasting pair of retail brokerage competitors, have each tapped management expertise from Wilmington Trust, the century-old family office business created by the DuPont family.
Rockefeller, which has been rapidly deploying its new private equity capital to hire wealth management strategists and teams from Merrill Lynch, UBS and Morgan Stanley said Monday that it hired Matthew T. Panarese to build a Philadelphia-area presence for its “global family office.”
Panarese, who had been president of Wilmington Trust’s Mid-Atlantic region for the last two years, will also have regional responsibility for Rockefeller’s traditional private banking “multi-family office” team in Washington, D.C.
Led by former Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley executive Greg Fleming, Rockefeller earlier this month hired veteran brokerage industry executives Michael Parker and Michael Armondo to build its New York and Texas financial advisor ranks. Rockefeller has hired at least five teams of brokers since last fall—including ten multi-million-dollar advisors in Atlanta—to supplement its traditional trust, tax and wealth-planning services for wealthy families.
In Los Angeles, regional firm Wedbush Securities last week said it hired Christopher M. Mone as head of its private wealth management business, which includes some 400 employee and independent-channel brokers. He had been president of U.S. markets for Wilmington Trust’s wealth advisory unit, and also has held management positions at BNY Mellon Wealth Management, UBS, and Prudential Securities, according to Wedbush.
Mone, who has a law degree from Fordham University and worked for two years at Edward Jones prior to joining Wilmington Trust, takes the reins at a sensitive time for Wedbush.
The firm, whose namesake founder Ed Wedbush stepped down as its president last year, last week agreed to pay a $250,000 failure-to-supervise penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission for ignoring what the regulator called “a long-running pump-and-dump scheme targeting retail investors” by one of its brokers. Wedbush last year was fined $2.5 million by the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for net capital and customer-protection rule violations.
Mone replaces longtime Wedbush executive Jim Richards, who remains with the firm in the new position of director of wealth management operations, reporting to Mone. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in October filed a Wells Notice informing Richards that it is likely to recommend disciplinary action related to violating its 3110 supervision rule and its 2010 “catchall” high-standards of commercial honor rule.
A Wedbush spokeswoman declined to comment on the recent fine or the Wells Notice. In announcing its settlement on the failure-to-supervise charge last Wednesday, the SEC acknowledged “remedial measures taken by Wedbush since March 2018, including changes made to senior leadership,” in explaining its settlement terms.
Wilmington Trust’s former president Robert Harra and chief financial officer David Gibson were convicted last year and sentenced in January to prison, with several other executives, for concealing a huge amount of bad commercial real-estate loans. The bank is now a subsidiary of M&T Bank, which purchased it in 2011 and which continues to operate its wealth management businesses under the Wilmington Trust name.