UBS Loses East Coast, West Coast, Midwest Teams
(Updates 11th paragraph to say Los Gatos is near San Jose, not San Diego.)
Three teams of UBS Wealth Management Americas advisors whose leaders each have more than 20 years of experience left in recent days, adding to a net outflow at the wirehouse.In Bethesda, Maryland, advisors Arun Sardana, Adam Proger and Paul Grambsch, who specialize in working with trade associations, endowments and foundations, moved last week to the employee channel of Raymond James Financial.
Sardana, a 24-year brokerage industry veteran who had been with UBS for 11 years, was one of 28 “senior” advisors designated as UBS institutional consultants, and Proger was on UBS’ institutional consulting advisory council, according to their Raymond James web biographies.
The team was working with about $1.68 billion of customer assets, according to Barron’s, which ranked Sardana #21 in its 2018 Top State poll. They were producing more than $3 million annually, said a person familiar with their book.
Raymond James does not have a dedicated group of brokers serving “institutional money,” unlike the wirehouses, and the firm may have laid out an opportunity for Sardana and his younger colleagues to get referrals from its brokers who focus on families and individuals.
Transferring institutional accounts to a new firm is challenging, and the lure of referrals may have proved tempting, said one headhunter.
“Raymond James is very publicly not the top recruiting deal on the Street, and they likely had more lucrative offers, but the culture and the likely referral opportunity must have made sense,” said Louis Diamond, a recruiter in New York who was not involved in the move.
The advisors did not return requests for comment on their decision. A a Raymond James manager confirmed their arrival, without further comment.
Sardana, a native of India, received a master’s in clinical psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College this year, a sign that he may be flirting with retirement. He began his brokerage career in 1995 with Merrill Lynch, according to BrokerCheck, and worked for almost nine years at Morgan Stanley in Bethesda before joining UBS in 2008.
Proger began his brokerage career with Merrill in 2005, sojourned for less than a year at Morgan Stanley and also moved to UBS in 2008, according to his BrokerCheck history. Grambsch had been with UBS since 2006. None of the advisors has disclosures on their records.
On the West Coast, the father-son team of Michael and Jason Sinclair moved with a client associate on August 30 from UBS to Morgan Stanley. They continue to work in Los Gatos, a northern California town near San Jose.
Michael Sinclair has been a broker since 1970, beginning at Thomson McKinnon and working since 1971 at Dean Witter and successor firm Morgan Stanley prior to moving with his son to UBS in December 2008, according to their unmarked BrokerCheck records. Jason started his brokerage career in 1999 at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
The advisors did not respond to requests for comment, but a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed their arrival.
In Chicago, Robert W. Baird said that it hired the UBS team of Eric Dahl and Tim Pennise, who joined with a client associate on September 4. The team was overseeing about $200 million in client assets and producing about $1 million in fees and commissions, according to published reports.
Pennise, who joined UBS with Dahl in 2009, declined to comment on the pair’s move. He has been a broker since 2000, working at William Blair and Sanford C. Bernstein before joining UBS ten years ago, according to his BrokerCheck history. Dahl similarly joined UBS in September 2009 after spending the first nine years of his brokerage career with Bernstein in Chicago. The brokers have no disclosures of customer or other complaints on their BrokerCheck records.
A UBS spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the departures.
The U.S. wealth unit of the Swiss banking giant has been on a recruiting diet for the past three years, making exceptions only rarely. In August, it hired a 31-year broker from Merrill Lynch’s elite private wealth management unit who had been overseeing $391 million of customer assets.
UBS in the first five months of 2019 recruited 22 experienced brokers, Jason Chandler told managers earlier this summer. But the company lost 109 seasoned brokers between last November and late April, according to an internal report reviewed by AdvisorHub.