UBS, Morgan Stanley Lose Big-Hitting Teams in New York, New Jersey
UBS Wealth Management USA and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, which each left the Protocol for Broker Recruiting last year, were jolted on Friday morning by the resignation of high-producing teams in New York City and Mt. Laurel, NJ.
Patrick Amato and Robert “Tad” Waldbauer Jr., who were managing $753 million of client assets at UBS’s Sixth Avenue headquarters branch in Manhattan, moved a few blocks east to join J.P. Morgan Securities, a J.P. Morgan spokeswoman confirmed. The duo, who had been with UBS since 2009, generated about $5 million in revenue in the past 12 months, said a person familiar with their practice.
“J.P. Morgan Securities offers our clients the resources of a global financial powerhouse with the personalized service of a boutique firm,” Waldbauer and Amato, who had been partners for 17 years, said in a prepared statement.
In New Jersey, Raymond James Financial recruited Thomas C. O’Neill, his daughter Jessie and his son Tommy to join its employee branch unit from Morgan Stanley. The family was generating $1.2 million of revenue on a client-asset book of $150 million, said Frank LaRosa, a recruiter who worked with them on the move.
The Protocol exits by Morgan Stanley and UBS late last year temporarily slowed down departures from the wirehouses, as advisors considered the risks of provoking litigation aimed at inhibiting their ability to contact former customers. After an initial round of temporary restraining order motions, the wirehouses have slowed down their legal attempts to restrict movement. Hiring firms, for their part, are carefully guiding prospects on how to leave in conformance with employment contracts and privacy laws, according to recruiters.
J.P. Morgan has been reaching into wirehouses to bulk up the retail brokerage unit of about 400 advisers it inherited from Bear Stearns during the financial crisis.
Raymond James has for more than two years been promoting a broker-centric culture that it contrasts to the more bureaucratic and controlling environments of bank-owned brokerage firms such as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and UBS. RayJay currently employs about 7,600 brokers, more than UBS but about half the size of Morgan Stanley.
“[Tom O’Neill] wants to be the one making the decisions, because he knows best,” LaRosa said of the broker’s resistance to using home-office model portfolios to manage client money. “Morgan Stanley doesn’t see it that way.”
Spokeswomen at Morgan Stanley and UBS said they could not immediately comment on how their firms would respond to Friday’s moves.
Amato began his securities career as a muni bond trader at J.P. Morgan Securities in 1989, moving to Salomon Smith Barney and day-trading firm Andover Brokerage before joining Merrill Lynch as a broker in 2001, according to his UBS web biography and his BrokerCheck history.
Waldbauer joined Merrill as a rookie in 2001 after working at a family business. He and Amato shifted to UBS in January 2009.
O’Neill began his brokerage career at Merrill Lynch, joining in 1982 and moving to A.G. Edwards in 1992. From 2005 to 2008, he worked at UBS, then joined Smith Barney shortly before it was merged into Morgan Stanley. His daughter Jessica joined his practice in 2013 while his namesake son signed on in 2016, according to the father’s Morgan Stanley biography.