Wells Gains Million-Dollar Producer from RBC, Loses Broker to RayJay
Wells Fargo Advisors has landed a million-dollar producer from RBC Wealth Management-U.S. in Oregon, offsetting the loss of a smaller-producing broker in North Carolina to Raymond James Financial a few days earlier.
William T. Frey, who joined Wells’ Lake Oswego, Ore. branch on Friday, generated $971,000 in trailing-12 month revenue at RBC, a Wells spokeswoman confirmed. The advisor, who had spent his entire 23-year brokerage career at Portland offices of RBC and its Dain Rauscher predecessor, did not return a call for comment on his motivations for moving.
Robert Steven Fox, who left Wells’s Davidson, NC, office on February 13 after nine years with the bank-owned broker, joined an independent brokerage office affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services in nearby Huntersville. He had been managing about $120 million in client assets and generated around $500,000 in production, he said.
It’s the first time in Fox’s 23-year career, which included 13 years at Smith Barney, that he will not be affiliated with wirehouses, which he said now overwhelm advisors with bureaucracy and regulation. He also wanted to partner with younger broker, Nicholas St. George, a neighbor who had been with Merrill Lynch until he affiliated with the RayJay independent unit on February 5.
“He didn’t want to stay at Merrill and didn’t want to come to Wells Fargo,” Fox said. “And I was done with the big wirehouses.”
St. George, who has 12 years of industry experience, was managing around $40 million in assets and had around $250,000 in production, according to Fox.
Wells Fargo last month reported that the steady loss of advisors since its parent bank company’s fake-account scandals were revealed in September 2016 appears to have stabilized. The broker-dealer ended 2017 with 14,564 advisors, flat with the number three months earlier, following a net loss of 350 brokers in the first half of the year.
Fox said his clients generally took Wells’ reputational issues in stride, noting that he lost only about $50,000 in assets in the past 18 months from clients who pulled their account money.
The timing of his and St. George’s move also reflected concerns that Wells and/or Merrill could soon withdraw from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, Fox said. That would make it more difficult to leave with confidence that they could contact their former clients.
Both firms remain in the Protocol, but have indicated that they are studying whether to follow competitors Morgan Stanley and UBS out of the pact.