UBS Rivals Tally Up Recruiting Victories
The dash out of UBS Financial Services ahead of its departure Friday from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting has shaved $22 million in production and counting in the past two days.
In addition to the five UBS brokers joining J.P. Morgan Securities in Palm Beach, Florida, Dallas and Atlanta who collectively produced around $12 million reported on Thursday, at least three other teams in Los Angeles, the Southwest and New York City joined new firms.
The largest of those was the Avitas Wealth Management group, a five-advisor team in Los Angeles that generated some $7 million of fees and commissions in the past months, according to a source familiar with their UBS production. The five Avitas advisors—Greg R. Satz, Russell D. Evans, Catherine Gerst, Eric Taslitz and Scott Duncanson—left with four associates on Thursday to set up a hybrid registered investment advisory firm under the Avitas name.
In a sign that the team may have accelerated their decision to leave while still under the client-contact protection of the Protocol, the RIA’s registration with regulators was not official as of Friday. However, at least three of the advisors have transferred their brokerage registrations to PKS Advisory Services, an RIA unit of broker-dealer Purshe Kaplan Sterling, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website.
The PKS firms, which specialize in servicing the transaction-oriented commission business of fee-based advisors, are members of the Protocol. Brokers moving among Protocol signatories can bring rudimentary client-contact information with them from their former firms to help jump-start their practices.
The Avitas team, which was organized in 1998 while the brokers were with Merrill Lynch, works with around 100 wealthy families, according to its UBS website. The group, which a source said is using Schwab Advisory Services as its custodian, was not available to discuss its decision, Taslitz said when reached at his new office.
Merrill’s Private Banking and Investment Group itself nabbed a UBS team jointly based In Scottsdale, Ariz. and Houston that produces around $1.7 million of revenue annually and oversaw some $303 million of customer assets, said two people familiar with the practice. Led by nine-year UBS veteran Ruggero Borletti, the team also includes Ryan Van Wagenen and client service associate Sabrina Prasil.
Borletti, who began his brokerage career with an eight-year stint at Morgan Stanley in Los Angeles, weighed a move to Wells Fargo Advisors’ private client group before settling on Merrill, one of the sources said.
In Albuquerque, N.M., another nine-year UBS team of two brokers left on Thursday to join independent broker-dealer Cambridge Investment Research. Pete Henderson and Tony Steffan produced around $1.5 million annually, said a source familiar with their book.
Henderson, who started his career at Morgan Stanley in 1993, and Steffan, who entered the brokerage industry the same year at Dean Witter, according to BrokerCheck, did not return a call for comment.
On the East Coast, Janney Montgomery Scott said it welcomed former UBS advisors Amanda B. Glanz, who managed $55 million in client assets in Bedminster, N.J., and Bernie L. Townes, who oversaw about $65 million in Melville, N.Y. for clients. Glanz, a 15-year industry veteran, and Townes, who has 33 years of experience, registered with Janney on Thursday, according to their BrokerCheck histories.