UBS Loses Oil Industry Stock Plan Broker to RayJay’s Alex. Brown
A broker with almost 20 years of experience and client assets of $327 million at UBS Financial Services in New Jersey snuck out under the wire to join the Alex. Brown division of Raymond James two weeks ago, a day before UBS dropped out of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting.
James D. Sheehan’s move from UBS adds another $1.1 million of revenue to the tally of more than $20 million that walked out of UBS’s doors hours before brokers lost the protection the pact had given them to bring client-contact information to their new positions.
In announcing Sheehan’s arrival and production numbers, Alex. Brown/Raymond James said he and sales associate James Cestone, who had been with Alex. Brown and its predecessor firm Deutsche Bank Securities, have a high net worth practice with a focus on “serving corporate executives in the oil and gas industries.”
Sheehan declined to discuss his clients, but a UBS veteran in the Short Hills complex where he worked said he was part of the Rasweiler Group, a team that derives much of its business from advising Exxon Mobil Corp. executives on their stock plans. After working as a producing manager at a satellite office, Sheehan went back to full-time production when John F. Rasweiler joined UBS in 2013 after more than 40 years with Lehman Brothers, Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street firms.
Sheehan, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, spent all but one of his 20 years as a registered representative with UBS, according to BrokerCheck. Spokespeople at UBS did not respond to a request for comment.
In a prepared statement, Sheehan said he chose Alex. Brown because of the stability of its parent company, its “service-first” cultural values and, especially, its broker-friendly resources. “[T]he technology needed to be user-friendly for my clients, and, frankly, I have been blown away by how great the technology is here at Alex. Brown and how easy it is to use,” he said.
As far as due diligence, Sheehan said he had been “exploring other firms for some time,” implying that his move was accelerated by UBS’s decision to leave the Protocol but not prompted by it.
For Alex. Brown, Sheehan’s hire is among the few it has announced since Deutsche Bank’s U.S. wealth unit became part of Raymond James 15 months ago. In August, a former Morgan Stanley team that was managing $500 million of assets joined Brown’s Park Avenue office in Manhattan, and in November 2016 a $1.3 million producer joined in Annapolis, Md. from RBC Capital Markets.
While Raymond James has been accelerating hiring in its self-named private wealth and independent brokerage franchises, Alex. Brown recruiting has been sluggish because its deals for high-end producers are not as lucrative as some of its larger rivals, according to some headhunters.
A typical high-net-worth producer at Alex. Brown gets Raymond James’ broker-centric “culture,” they said, plus an all-in package of about 130% of trailing-12 month revenue. Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS, all of which have slowed down recruiting, are still offering more than 200% to “franchise” producers while outliers such as J.P. Morgan Securities will pay three times trailing-12, they said.
“I don’t see them catching wind,” Casey Knight, a recruiter at ESP Financial Search in Houston said of Alex. Brown.
Haig Ariyan, president of Alex. Brown, flaunted Sheehan’s arrival as a seal of approval.
“He obviously appreciates how the Alex. Brown legacy, enhanced by Raymond James’ reputation and resources, becomes an unbeatable value proposition for high net worth clients seeking financial advice in this market,” he said in a prepared statement.