UBS Broker in Charlotte Joins Ameriprise, Shakes Off TRO Request
A UBS Financial Services broker who jumped to Ameriprise Financial Services two weeks ago has prevailed in a battle with the Swiss bank to contact his former customers.
Lawyers for Richard L. Bean, who UBS honored in 2015 as one of its top 35 brokers under the age of 35, convinced a North Carolina state judge this week to deny the bank’s attempt to have a restraining order imposed on his client-contact efforts, an Ameriprise spokeswoman confirmed.
Bean, who she said was managing about $77 million of UBS customers’ assets, joined Ameriprise’s employee channel on February 16, according to his BrokerCheck history. He produced around $700,000 last year, said a person familiar with his practice. Bean referred a call for comment on Thursday to Ameriprise’s lawyers, who did not return requests for comment.
The courthouse victory is likely to hearten brokers who have felt locked in at UBS since it left the Protocol for Broker Recruiting in December, fearful that they would be unable to jump-start their practices. The pact permits brokers to bring a limited amount of client-contact information with them when moving between signatory firms.
Morgan Stanley has won at least four TRO motions since it exited the Protocol in November (and withdrawn at least one). UBS has said it will tighten non-solicitation language in its brokers’ employment and bonus-acceptance contracts so it can enforce them in litigation.
Some branch managers at large regional firms have told AdvisorHub they are under orders to halt recruiting from the Protocol-exiting firms, and smaller firms and registered investment advisors do not have the resources to contend with larger firms in court and arbitration.
Ameriprise is one of the few companies willing to bear the expense of challenging UBS and Morgan Stanley, according to recruiters. “They deserves kudos, because the (Protocol exit) is a big problem and you need firms to show leadership,” said Darin Manis, managing partner of recruiting firm AdvisorBox, which has worked with Ameriprise and which has run a promotion promising to finance some brokers’ legal battles.
In January, the Minneapolis-based firm convinced a county judge in Texas to deny Morgan Stanley’s request for a restraining order against a father-and-son team who were managing more than $300 million at their former firm.
“We are pleased that for the second time, a judge has agreed with our position,” said Kathleen McClung, the Ameriprise spokeswoman. “As we’ve said before, financial advisors are allowed to switch firms, and movement across the industry is common.”
Spokespeople at UBS did not respond to a request for comment on Bean’s move or on whether the firm will try to press allegations of employment contract breaches against him in arbitration.
UBS Wealth Management Americas honored Bean—who began his brokerage career in October 2010 as a client service associate at the firm and became an advisor in 2011—as one of its most productive young brokers in 2015.
“The Financial Advisors recognized in our Top 35 Under 35 are among our most successful rising talent,” Bob McCann, then chief executive of UBS Group Americas said in a press release at the time. “The superior service they are delivering on behalf of their clients is setting a high standard for their peers at UBS and throughout the industry.”