UBS Hires Morgan Stanley Producing Manager, Loses Brokers to Independence
UBS Wealth Management USA has hired a producing branch manager from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management to oversee its Walnut Creek, California, office, according to an internal memo.
He generated $1.4 million in production in the previous 12 months at Morgan Stanley, according to a memo from Northern California market manager Erin Borger reviewed by AdvisorHub.The Morgan Stanley office has 26 advisors and the UBS branch has 38, according to their websites.
“Josh and I have known each other for about three years and when UBS’s Walnut Creek position came open, I knew it was the perfect fit,” wrote Borger, who himself ran the branch until taking his broader role in the firm’s downtown San Francisco branch last May.
Borger has been credited in internal recruiting memos as the firm has been selectively dipping its toe back into hiring. In February, he brought a $1.9 million Morgan Stanley broker to the San Francisco branch, and in January recruited a $2.4 million Robert W. Baird producer in Mill Valley and a $1.6 million broker in San Jose.
Breeden, who started his career at Merrill in 1995 and moved to Smith Barney four years later, could not be reached for comment.
The move amid the coronavirus work-at-home crisis is rare, according to several recruiters. Raymond James Financial and several other firms have been deferring start dates for committed advisors, and some have instructed managers to refrain from making new offers.
UBS’s broker headcount in the U.S. has steadily declined to just over 6,000 following a near-three-year recruiting chill aimed at cutting its parent bank’s overhead of forgivable loans to brokers. Earlier this month UBS Wealth Management USA’s head of recruiting, Albert Leshinsky, joined San Francisco-based First Republic.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed Breeden’s departure but declined to comment further. A replacement for Breeden has not yet been named, said a source at the branch, which is part of the South Bay complex overseen by Patricia Benner.
Separately, a father-son UBS team in Utah left earlier this month to join Ameriprise Financial’s independent franchisee channel, a spokeswoman for Ameriprise confirmed.
Craig and Chad Willson, who had been with UBS for 13 and 6 years, respectively, set up shop with a client associate on March 6, according to their BrokerCheck records. They were managing $108 million in client assets, the spokeswoman said.
Craig, a 37-year industry veteran, spent the first 25 years of his career at Smith Barney and predecessor firms before joining UBS in 2007, according to his BrokerCheck history. He specializes in helping companies establish retirement plans, according to his former UBS biography. Neither he nor Chad, who began his brokerage career at UBS, returned calls for comment on the reason for choosing independence and the timing of their jump.
Around 78% of Ameriprise’s 9,871 advisors are independent contractors.