Wirehouse Wars: $2.9 Million UBS Broker in Atlanta Joins Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley, which shortly before the coronavirus lockdown re-activated its recruiting appetite, has hired a $2.9 million broker in Atlanta from UBS Financial Services.
Evan Fishman, who was overseeing about $585 million for a small number of UBS clients, according to a person familiar with his book, joined the rival wirehouse on June 22, a few days before Morgan Stanley lured a $2.1 million producer from Merrill Lynch in Florida.
Fishman, who had been with UBS for 14 years following 13 years with Merrill, declined to comment on the motivations for his move to Morgan Stanley’s 5 Concourse Parkway branch, part of a complex that has experienced management shifts in recent weeks.
His arrival helps fill Atlanta-area seats vacated by eight Morgan Stanley advisors producing more than $20 million who left this year for Rockefeller Capital Management.
UBS, which like Morgan Stanley had curbed its recruiting appetite in 2017 in an attempt to reduce its overhang of “forgivable” recruiting loan balances, has recently said that it is selectively recruiting experienced advisors again. Its U.S. broker count has declined to fewer than 6,000 from about 6,050 at the end of the first quarter, according to brokers citing internal rankings.
Morgan Stanley elevated Ben Firestein, a veteran complex manager in New York, to a newly created role as national recruiting head in January. The wirehouse had 15,400 advisors as of March 31, and is expected to report its latest count on Thursday when it reports second-quarter results.
UBS lost two teams managing more than $1.8 billion of client assets in Kansas and California to Wells Fargo last month, and another six advisors managing about $650 million over the July 4th holiday weekend in Florida and Ohio to independent broker-dealers.
A UBS spokeswoman declined to comment on Fishman’s departure.
“I think it’s less about UBS specifically, and more about advisors being emboldened in general,” said Mindy Diamond, a New Jersey-based recruiter, who has focused in recent years on moving brokers from wirehouses to independent firms and “boutiques” such as Rockefeller.
The challenges of moving and having confidence that clients can follow persist, to be sure, are amplified under the work-from-home constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to many headhunters and internal recruiters.
And the choice of new firms reflect a broad mix of factors ranging from recruiting bonuses and personal relationships to product-and-technology considerations that can still influence moves to and from wirehouses, regional firms and independent advisory firms.
RBC Wealth Management’s U.S. arm, for example, said it attracted two longtime independent brokers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to its employee channel last week.
John W. Goodwin and Scott Schroeder, who were overseeing $245 million in assets for retirees and small business owners, joined RBC with a client associate. Goodwin, who operated Goodwin Securities since 1991 prior to affiliating with IBD Maplewood Investments in 2016, did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
He began his career as a registered rep with E.F. Hutton and also worked at Thomson McKinnon Securities and Prudential-Bache Securities before setting up his own shop, according to BrokerCheck.
Schroeder joined Goodwin Securities ten years ago after spending the first two months of his brokerage career at Ronin Capital, according to his BrokerCheck record.
RBC last week hired a Wells Fargo broker in Dallas who was managing $370 million in client assets.
In a press release about the Goodwin-Schroeder team, the Royal Bank of Canada unit claimed that the average production of its approximately 2,000 brokers in the U.S. is 42% higher than last year because of “ongoing investments in advisor recruiting and technology.”