UBS Team Overseeing $274 Million Goes Indie with RayJay in Houston
In the second departure from UBS Financial Services this week, two brokers in Houston have set up an independent advisory practice affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services.
Lori Lynne Siegel and Robert A. Russo left the UBS office where they had worked for the past ten years on Tuesday, along with their client associates. They had been managing $274 million as of May last year, according to Siegel’s ranking on Forbes’ 2018 list of “Top Women Advisors” that said they generally work with clients who have at least $2 million of assets.
Reached at her new office, Siegel—who began her brokerage career with Smith Barney in 1996—declined to comment. Russo, whose UBS website says he was a Forbes “Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisor” in 2017 and 2018, and who began his career at Smith Barney in 204 before joining UBS in 2009, was not available for comment, said a person answering his phone.
Their departure preceded Thursday’s exit from UBS of three UBS advisors in Cincinnati who had around $730 million in customer assets. They joined Stifel Financial’s Stifel Nicolaus broker-dealer in the Ohio city.
UBS’ U.S. brokerage force of about 6,300 declined by about 285 last year amid a years-long exodus.
The Swiss bank-owned firm has pivoted from the expensive game of recruiting experienced advisors to using incentives and penalties to increase retention. It has left the Protocol for Broker Recruiting that made it easier for departing brokers to contact former clients, but has added bonuses to award longevity at the firm to its compensation programs.
UBS also is believed to be working on establishing a new business to service independent advisors in an attempt to continue servicing client assets.
A spokesman for UBS did not return a request for comment about Siegel and Russo’s departure.
The team is working from a south Houston building at 1177 West Loop that includes at least three other independent wealth management firms: Saxon Financial Group, another Raymond-James affiliated advisory firm; Cetera Advisor Networks-affiliated United Capital Financial and Chilton Capital Management, a registered investment advisor and trust company.
Raymond James spokespeople did not return requests for comment.
Florida-based Raymond James had 4,649 advisors in its independent contractor channel at the end of December 2018 compared with 3,166 employee advisors. Its faster growing independent channel grew 3.3% as measured by advisors last year.