UBS Private Wealth Team in San Francisco Jumps to Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo Advisors has notched a win in the small but competitive niche of brokers focusing on individuals and families with at least $5 million of liquid assets.
The peripatetic brokers have worked together for 14 years, joining UBS in 2014 after six years with Merrill Lynch and three at Wachovia Securities. Seidler declined to comment on the decision to join Wells, and Cattich could not be reached. A UBS spokesman declined to comment.
Seidler and Cattich joined the “private wealth financial advisors group” of about 700 brokers that Wells Fargo Advisors created a year ago to coordinate services for the very wealthy. Initially run by Jim Hays, who Wells elevated last July to manage its 13,500 advisors in standalone, bank-branch and independent branches, the private wealth sub-unit is now helmed by Kevin Kitchin.
Wells Fargo Advisors has been offering upper-echelon candidates some of the fattest recruiting deals in the retail brokerage industry, hoping to rebuild a sales force that has declined by more than 1,500 since late 2016, when its sister bank’s fake account scandal was disclosed. Top brokers can receive as much as 325% of their previous year’s production in front- and back-end forgivable loan deals, according to recruiters.
The Wells spokeswoman declined to comment on Seidler and Cattich’s practice or their recruiting packages. When Wells reported fourth-quarter results two weeks ago, she said that new recruits in 2019 had better-than-budgeted average production of $719,000. That is higher than its average broker and above the $565,000 average of its 2018 recruits.
UBS’s advisors in the Americas average over $1 million of production, the Swiss bank said in reporting earnings last week. But its U.S. advisor force dwindled to about 6,050, according to brokers at the firm, less than half those at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Wells. Morgan Stanley, whose CEO, James Gorman, has also emphasized focusing on very wealthy clients, earlier this month hired four brokers from Wells Fargo bank branches servicing a lower-tier cohort of investors.
Seidler became a broker in 2000 at Charles Schwab & Co., a second career after working for 10 years directing high school special education classes, according to his UBS biography. Cattich’s online biography said he was a research analyst at Hambrecht & Quist before becoming an advisor in 2000 at Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities.
Wells’ headcount slipped by a net 456 brokers last year to 13,512 brokers across its employee and independent brokerage channels
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.