Wells Hires Virginia Wirehouse Veterans from Merrill, UBS
Two wirehouse brokers in Virginia who generated a combined $2.9 million in trailing-12 production jumped to Wells Fargo Advisors’ private client group last week
In Charlottesville, Merrill broker Charles Bull ended his almost 26-year affiliation with the Thundering Herd on Tuesday to join Wells’ 17-advisor office in the city.
Bull, who ranked #39 on Forbes’ Best-In-Virginia Wealth Advisors rankings this year, declined to comment on the reasons for his move.
About 120 miles away, William Hardin, UBS Wealth Management’s producing branch manager in Roanoke, moved to a 20-broker Wells office in the port city on Friday after more than 12 years. He is working in the same building where UBS is located, and where he was producing $1.2 million on about $144 million of client assets, according to a person familiar with his practice.
Hardin, whose LinkedIn page said he had been a branch manager since 2013, did not respond to a request for comment. He has been a registered rep since 1995, starting at MML Investor Services before joining Merrill for seven years and arriving at UBS in 2008, according to his unmarked BrokerCheck history.
A Wells spokeswoman confirmed the hires.
Wells Fargo Advisors has been offering premium recruiting deals to brokers with more than $500,000 in production as it looks to replenish a force that has lost almost 1,500 since disclosure of its sister bank’s fake account scandals almost four years ago. Headcount across its employee and independent broker channels was 13,298 as of June 30, down 4% from a year earlier.
Merrill and UBS have both experienced a steady outflow of veteran advisors in recent years, though neither firm discloses its core U.S. wealth management numbers. Both firms have retreated from aggressive recruiting of veteran advisors.
Merrill has been seeking to fill its desks with early-career advisors to whom it offers a guaranteed salary as well as grid-based production payouts. UBS, which last month lost six advisors producing $7.8 million to a Wells branch in Alabama, has said that it is selectively recruiting advisors. In May, it attracted a three-broker team from Sanford C. Bernstein in Dallas who were producing about $13 million.