Wells Recruits $3.5-Mln UBS Family Team, Million-Dollar RBC Producer
Some of the brokerage industry’s most aggressive recruiters illustrated in the past week that their transition teams continue to operate during the pandemic as part of their broader business continuity plans.
And Raymond James on Friday energized its virus-slowed recruiting successes of recent years by landing two Merrill Lynch brokers for a new employee-channel branch it will open outside of Dallas in Frisco, Tex.
The UBS emigrants are Grant Minor, a 35-year brokerage veteran, who joined Wells Fargo Advisors’ Canonsburg, Pa., branch with his sons Ben and William and two client associates on May 15. They had been generating $3.5 million in trailing-12 production at UBS on about $700 million in assets for clients in the firm’s private wealth unit for high-net-worth investors, according to a Wells Fargo spokeswoman.
“We feel that it’s going to offer us and our clients a lot more support and resources,” Ben Minor said in a brief interview, declining to discuss specifics about comparative services or his family’s transition package. A UBS spokesman declined to comment.
Grant Minor, whose unmarked BrokerCheck record says he worked out of both Canonsburg and Birmingham, Ala., began his wealth management career 40 years ago at Goldman Sachs. He rose to manage Goldman’s Southeast wealth division before leaving to join Smith Barney in 2001 and shifting again to UBS in 2007, according to his UBS web biography and his BrokerCheck history.
Ben joined his father’s practice seven years ago and Will affiliated with them in 2016 after working as an investment banking associate at Merrill Lynch, according to their UBS biographies, which says both sons also served in the Marine Corps. Ben ranked as a top 10 nex-gen advisor in Forbes’ Best-In-Pennsylvania rankings this year (and as #105 in the state overall).
In Paramus, N.J., Wells hired John Ebanietti, who was overseeing more than $165 million in client assets and generating more than $1 million in annual production at RBC Wealth Management, according to the Wells Fargo spokeswoman. The 28-year brokerage industry veteran registered with Wells on May 12, according to BrokerCheck.
Ebanietti had sojourned at Dean Witter Reynolds, UBS PaineWebber, Smith Barney and Oppenheimer before joining RBC in Paramus in 2012, according to BrokerCheck. He did not return a call for comment on his move.
The new Raymond James brokers, David A. Alford and Claudia Tapara, had generated more than $900,000 in fees and commissions on $140 million in client assets at Merrill Lynch in Frisco, Tex., before registering with their new firm in the Dallas suburb on Friday under a typical nine-year RayJay contract, according to two people familiar with their practice.
Alford had been with Merrill for eight years of his almost 33-year career, and counted several professional football players among his clients at Merrill’s “Cowboys Way” branch, said one of the sources. He began his brokerage career in 1987 at Carty & Company, and also worked at Lehman Brothers and successor Smith Barney before joining UBS in 2008 and Merrill in 2012.
Tapara had spent her entire near-six-year-career with Merrill. A junior broker on their team, Stephanie Turner-Jones, remains at the Bank of America-owned firm. Alford and Tapara plan to work from a new RayJay branch in Frisco when pandemic restrictions lift.
Raymond James also closed a recruiting deal on April 30 with a three-broker UBS team in Woodland Hills, Calif. who produced about $2.5 million on $360 million in client assets in the past 12 months.
Charles Isaacs, David Paller, Thomas Rockel and senior client service associate Stella Llamas made the move to RayJay’s employee channel after investigating several alternative firms, according to Paller, who declined to elaborate on the team’s motivations for leaving.
In a prepared statement, he complimented RayJay’s technology and “the access to and sincerity of leadership,” a personal touch that the firm had promoted in pre-virus times by bringing many top prospects to its Florida headquarters.
Isaacs’ brokerage industry roots were planted in 1986 at EF Hutton and continued for 22 years at successor firms Lehman Brothers and Smith Barney. He joined UBS in October 2008 in the depths of the financial crisis. Paller began his brokerage career in 1987, initiating a 13-year stretch with six independent broker-dealers before joining Merrill Lynch in 2004 and UBS in December 2008, according to his BrokerCheck history.
Separately a pair of independent brokers in Washington State who had been affiliated with Wells Fargo’s Financial Network channel shifted affiliations on April 22.
Susan Lawrence and Christopher S. Loutsis, III, together generated about $800,000 on about $100 million in client assets in the past year, according to a person familiar with their practice.
They are now clearing through LPL Financial and custodying advisory assets with its RIA, under the supervision of Financial Advocates a 24-year-old Tacoma-based firm. Financial Advocates is an office of supervisory jurisdiction for more than 200 independent brokers and is LPL’s “fourth largest enterprise,” according to its website.
Lawrence and Loutsis, who joined with two client associates and who are based in Issaquah, WA-based brokers, did not return calls for comment on their move.