UBS Loses $7.5-Million Team in D.C. Suburb, Veteran Woman Advisor in New Jersey
Brokers have made significant changes as they cope with the coronavirus pandemic’s work-from-home strictures, but those forging ahead with moves to other firms continue to leverage long holiday weekends to facilitate their transitions.
In suburban Washington, DC, Wells hired David Ciccone, Thomas Harsanyi, Robert G. Taylor and David N. Litman, senior vice presidents at UBS who a source said were producing $7.5 million on about $976 million of client assets. Daniel M. Allen, a fifth advisor who is a UBS vice president, remains at the firm where he was servicing clients with about $65 million of the team’s book, another source said.
The wirehouse veterans, who joined with a senior strategy associate and several client service associates, could not be reached for comment on their decisions to leave UBS after a decade at the firm.
Wells Fargo Advisors has been offering premium signing packages to experienced advisors in an effort to fill desks that have emptied in the wake of the fake-account scandals that have plagued its parent bank company for more than three years.
Ciccone’s peripatetic wirehouse career included almost seven years with Salomon Smith Barney starting in 1993, and five each with Morgan Stanley and Merrill. He, Harsanyi and Taylor all joined Merrill in May 2005 and hopped to UBS in Vienna, Va. in April 2010. They were producing about $2.1 million at the time they left Merrill, according to news reports when they joined UBS.
Harsanyi also worked at Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley at the start of his career, which began in 1997, according to his BrokerCheck history. Taylor—who first registered as a rep in 1985 with First American National Securities—did a three-year stint with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter before his Merrill sojourn.
Litman worked for the first nine years of his career at Smith Barney and shifted to UBS in 2007, according to his BrokerCheck history.
UBS on Friday also bid farewell to Kathleen Entwistle, a 13-year veteran in Paramus, N.J., who joined Morgan Stanley along with her son Kevin Entwistle.
Ranked as #26 in Forbes’ Best-in-New Jersey 2020 list of top advisors, Entwistle managed over $400 million of client assets at UBS (where she also had a New York City desk). She had begun her wirehouse career in May 2001 at Morgan Stanley and left in June 2007 for UBS, according to her BrokerCheck history. Her son has been a registered rep since 2015, working at Putnam and Merrill before joining his mother at UBS in 2018.
“I decided to join Morgan Stanley because they are positioned to offer sophisticated solutions to best serve our clients’ complex financial needs,” she said in a prepared statement about her Memorial Day weekend move.
Both UBS and Morgan Stanley have reactivated their recruiting engines in recent months after years of retreat. UBS two weeks ago landed a $13 million, three-broker team in Dallas from Sanford C. Bernstein, and hired a $1.4-million solo practitioner from Morgan Stanley in April in Phoenix, a producing branch manager from Morgan Stanley in California in March and a $16.7 million-team in North Carolina from Merrill Lynch in January.
Its U.S. broker account has fallen to just below 6,000 from about 8,700 a decade ago, said UBS insiders. Morgan Stanley, which almost doubled its retail brokerage force a decade ago when it began absorbing Smith Barney, has about 15,000 advisors while Wells has more than 14,000 across its private client branch, independent broker and bank-branch-based brokers.
A UBS spokeswoman declined to comment on the Friday departures.
Wells Fargo, for its part, last Monday hired Arturo Montemayor Gruszca, a J.P. Morgan private banker in Miami who was managing over $160 million in client assets, according to a person familiar with his practice.
Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Gruszca had a brief stint at Morgan Stanley following almost nine years with Deutsche Bank Securities. He began his brokerage career with Citicorp Investment Services in 2001, according to BrokerCheck.