Wells Teams in Texas, North Carolina, Washington Go Independent
(Corrects assets under management for North Carolina team.)
Three Wells Fargo Advisors teams that cumulatively manage almost $1.4 billion in assets have left its private client group, with two joining rival independent firms and a third affiliating with the bank’s new registered investment advisor channel.
On Tuesday, a four-advisor Dallas team led by 20-year Wells veteran David McBee merged with a practice set up in February by former UBS brokers Ricardo “Rick” Lima and John Saalfield to form Wealth Partners Alliance. They contract for regulatory and support services through Concurrent Advisors, a two-year-old hybrid RIA/brokerage consortium that uses Raymond James Financial as its broker-dealer and custodian.
“We were really looking for something that we owned, where we control the culture and make the decisions,” said McBee, whose team was managing $586 million of individual customer assets and $350 million of retirement plan assets at Wells. (The UBS brokers had managed over $200 million of client assets at their former firms.)
The Dallas group, which also includes former Wells advisors Michael Mikeska, Michael Peschel, and Brittany Smith, brings the number of brokers in the Concurrent group to 74. The San Diego-based independent firm offers its affiliates, who manage about $4.6 billion of assets, compliance services as an office of supervisory jurisdiction (OSJ) for Raymond James.
Concurrent advisors keep more than 80% of the revenue they produce—about twice what they could receive as employees but less than as direct affiliates of independent broker-dealers—in return for strong transition support financed by Raymond James and operational support, said Neelab Naibkhyl, Concurrent’s director of strategy
Another Wells team of five advisors opted two weeks ago to affiliate with independent broker-dealer Woodbury Financial’s big OSJ affiliate in the southeastern U.S., GCG Wealth Management.
The Greensboro, North Carolina, team includes advisors George Harris III, Shelley “Shell” York, Billie Ricketts, Clay Craven and Garrett Mullins, according to their BrokerCheck records. The team managed around $350 million of customer assets, according to a source familiar with their move. Harris, who spent almost half of his 27-year career at Wells, did not return a call for comment on his team’s decision.
Wells, which in the past year established an RIA channel affiliated with RIA custodian Trade PMR and upped its recruiting deals to bolster its large but declining advisor ranks, succeeded in keeping one of its break-away veterans in-house.
David H. Hohimer said in a news release on Tuesday that his Seattle team, which oversees about $650 million of customer assets, has established a fee-only practice through Wells’ new RIA channel. The 27-year industry veteran joined Wells in 2009 with about $100 million in client assets, the release said.
“Establishing [Hohimer Wealth Management] is a formal commitment to providing objective advice, beyond the ‘suitability’ standard and never based on an advisor’s compensation or hidden fees,” the advisor wrote.
Wells earlier this week reorganized the sales management structure of its newly combined network of more than 13,000 bank-branch and private client group brokerage offices. Wells Fargo Advisors has lost more than 1,200 brokers on a net basis since its parent bank company disclosed the creation of fake bank account and credit card scandals in September 2016.