Wells Loses Teams Managing $796 Million to RayJay, Ameriprise
In more signs of seasoned brokers pulling up deep roots, a 27-year Wells Fargo Advisors “ProfitFormula” broker in Richmond whose team oversaw about $600 million has joined Raymond James’ quasi-independent channel, while a 21-year private client group Wells manager in Omaha took his three-person team to Ameriprise Financial’s employee channel.
Both Wells’ ProfitFormula channel and the AdvisorSelect channels pay brokers a higher percentage of the fees and commissions they produce than is given to top advisors in their traditional employee channels, but the teams are responsible for more overhead and employee support expenses and get fewer home-office services.
Sisk, who ranked 39th among the top 110 advisors in Virginia, according to a Shook Research ranking for VirginaBusiness.com, spent 22 years of his 35-year brokerage career with Wells and predecessor firms Wheat First Securities and First Union Capital Markets.
Marvel began his financial services career in 2003 as an associate with Chesapeake Strategic Advisors, moved to Northwestern Mutual Investment Services a year later and in 2007 joined Wells Fargo where he partnered with Sisk. Statuta, a former fund wholesaler at Putnam, Pioneer and Goldman Sachs, joined them at Wells Advisors in Richmond in September 2016.
Statuta confirmed the team’s preference for the quasi-independence model but said his teammates were not available to answer questions about their move.
“We looked at several firms and did very thorough due diligence, but the only firm that fit, that demonstrated a sincere client-first philosophy and an advisor-focused culture was Raymond James,” Sisk said in a prepared statement. The team, which includes their client service associate Tonita Donaldson, will operate as the Sisk & Marvel Investment Group.
In Omaha, Ameriprise hired James Pekelder, Scott Prai and their operations manager, Deb Knust, on May 10, a company spokeswoman said. Operating within the firm’s employee channel as Pekelder Prai Financial Strategies Group, the group was managing about $196 million in assets at Wells Fargo, she said. Prai began his brokerage career in 2001 with Wells, and Knust moved with Pedelker to Wells in 1998 from Principal Financial Securities, according to their BrokerCheck histories.
Pekelder, who began his brokerage career in 1983 at Prudential-Bache Securities, joined Wells in 1998 and split his time being running a book and overseeing more than 60 brokers in seven offices, according to a 2011 profile of his role as a producing manager. The complex is being run on an interim basis by Jamie Batson, whose LinkedIn profile says she is based in Boise, Idaho.
Pekelder drew notoriety in 2016 when Wells brought an arbitration claim alleging violations of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting against his former partner Joel A. Jacobs, who left the previous year.
Jacobs in a counterclaim alleged that he had primary responsibility for growing the team’s assets after buying two books from retiring advisors, “while Pekelder traveled and carried out his supervisory duties in the state of Nebraska.” Arbitrators held Wells and Pekelder jointly and severally liable to pay Jacobs $413,000 for lost compensation.
Pekelder did not return requests for comment on the reasons for his move from Wells, which has suffered a net outflow of more than 1,200 brokers since its sister bank disclosed the opening of unasked-for checking and credit accounts for customers in September 2016. He will focus on production at Ameriprise, and report to Omaha branch manager Chris Knust, the company spokeswoman said.
Spokeswomen at Wells Fargo Advisors did not respond to requests for comments about the departures in Richmond and Omaha.