UBS San Diego Duo Producing Nearly $2 Mln Goes Indie
Two UBS brokers who generated almost $2 million in annual revenue have set up a registered investment advisory firm in San Diego, saying they have access to a broader array of products through third-party platform providers than they had anticipated.
Daniel A. Conners, a 35-year brokerage vet, and Michael P. Crawford, with 16 years of experience, left UBS after nine years in November to form enTrust Wealth Advisors. They were managing $250 million for around 70 families, they said, but were in search of alternative investment products that weren’t on the wirehouse’s platform.
“UBS has a lot of great resources in that area, but there are other niche-ier things that people are interested in that we can go out and explore,” said Crawford, mentioning Altegris Investments and iCapital Network as examples of vendors he’s working with.
The advisors, whose practice is about 90% fee-based, recommend Fidelity Investments as custodian of their customers’ advisory assets and use Chicago-based Arete Wealth Management as their independent broker-dealer.
A UBS spokesman declined to comment.
Conners and Crawford, who said they also were seeking more latitude to help their clients shop around for services such as business, auto and home insurance, say they have moved about 98% of their UBS “book” in the short period since they resigned on November 20.
UBS’ departure from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, nevertheless, gave them some second thoughts about moving.
To avoid a potential lawsuit, the brokers worked with a lawyer at Hamburger Law Firm, which specializes in helping teams break away from traditional broker-dealers to independent RIAs. The firm helped them find ways to use publicly available client-contact information and avoid taking proprietary data that could lead to a restraining order request.
“It made it tough to get all the information that we needed, and we were very worried, but it turned out not be a major issue,” Crawford said.
Conners and Crawford began partnering at Morgan Stanley in 2006 and joined UBS in 2008. Conners has worked at 11 broker dealers over his 35-year career that began in 1983. Crawford first registered as a broker in 2002 with Morgan Stanley.