Wells Fargo Loses Another Round of Brokers in VA, MA and NC
The exodus of brokers from Wells Fargo Advisors continued apace this week, with three East Coast teams managing several hundred million dollars in client assets joining other firms.
The largest of the emigrants, as measured by client assets, was Bradford Coyle, who left Wells’ private client group branch in McLean, Virginia, on Thursday to join Steward Partners. Steward, which is based in Washington, DC, is one of the biggest independent brokerage practices affiliated with Raymond James Financial.
Coyle, who will be working from Steward’s headquarters office, had been producing $2.43 million in annual revenue and had almost $500 million in assets under management, according to Steward’s chief executive, James Gold.
Coyle’s team includes client associates Ali Allen and Brad Coyle Jr., his son, who became a registered representative last January, according to BrokerCheck.
The senior Coyle has 26 years of brokerage experience, including 21 years at Wells Fargo and its A.G. Edwards predecessor. He established Edwards’ downtown Washington office in 1996 with several of his former colleagues from Chase Manhattan Bank’s investment advisory division, according to his former Wells website.
Coyle said he could not immediately comment on his reasons for leaving Wells and joining Steward.
In Boston, three advisors at Wells Fargo’s private bank left last Friday to join Ameriprise Financial’s employee channel. Stephen Craig, Robert Andrews and Robert Savage had been managing around $300 million in assets, a spokeswoman for Ameriprise confirmed. They generated $3 million in production, according to two people familiar with their business.
Craig, the senior member of the team, joined Wells in 2012. He has been a broker for 22 years, 15 of which were with Morgan Stanley and its Smith Barney predecessor, according to his BrokerCheck history.
Andrews, who began his career at Merrill Lynch in 2000, and Savage, who first became registered in 2007 at Banc of America Investment Services, each joined Wells in 2011. None of the three new Ameriprise brokers returned requests for comment left at their Ameriprise branch at 60 State Street in Boston.
The third Wells team, which also bolted last Friday, left the broker’s private client group office in Charlotte, N.C. to join SunTrust Investment Services, according to a source familiar with the move.
Patrick Long and Walter A. Kennedy IV, each of whom had been at Wells Fargo Advisors for 10 years, did not return requests for comment on their practice or the reason for their move. Long and Kennedy began their careers in 1998 and 1999, respectively at UBS Financial Services’ Charlotte branch, according to their BrokerCheck histories.
Atlanta-based SunTrust last month hired a Wells private banker who had been overseeing around $1.8 billion in client assets for wealthy clients in Los Angeles. A SunTrust spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new Wells team or the assets they had been managing.
RBC Wealth Management U.S. said earlier this week that 35-year brokerage industry veteran Michael Foody joined its Seattle branch on Sept. 26 from a Wells Fargo Advisors office in that city. Foody, who RBC said was managing $120 million of client assets at Wells Fargo, had been with Wells since 1997, according to BrokerCheck.
RBC also said it hired broker Grady Buchan in Syracuse, New York, on Monday. Buchan, who had been managing $195 million in assets, had spent his 21-year career at Wells and A.G. Edwards, according to his BrokerCheck history.
More than 860 brokers have left Wells Fargo Advisors since its parent bank disclosed in September 2016 that thousands of fake accounts had been opened without customers’ positions to help employees meet performance goals.
The broker-dealer has had occasional recruiting successes amid continuing investigations of its high-charged sales culture, including the arrival late last month of a trio in Alabama that had been managing $200 million at Merrill Lynch. But many current and former Wells brokers said the continuing negative headlines have been wearing, making it difficult to retain some customers. Wells has tried to stanch the outflow by offering enhanced fees to outside recruiters who convince prospects to join its broker-dealer.
Wells Fargo Advisors currently employs around 14,200 brokers across its private client, independent and private banking channels.