Wirehouse Wars: Morgan Stanley Nabs $5.1 Million UBS Team
Morgan Stanley and UBS may have tried to block the exits by leaving the Protocol for Broker Recruiting two years ago, but they also occasionally show that the manacles are not binding by knocking on each other’s doors.
Led by Thomas L. Wentling Jr., who spent more than 41 of his 43-year brokerage career with UBS and predecessor Blyth Eastman Dillon, the team generated $5.1 million in the past 12 months, according to a source familiar with its book. Accompanying Wentling to Morgan Stanley were brothers Brian and John A. Tarquinio, Richard A. Barbarita, Zachary J.M. Deschaine, Nicholas A. Feeney Jr. and two client associates.
Wentling said he was motivated by superior technology at the wirehouse.
“We did our homework and came to believe Morgan Stanley was sufficiently committed to staying on the leading edge of IT spend to support our team’s drive to differentiate our practice from our peers,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “Technology has gone from being a nice adjunct to a wealth management practice to the key component of a team’s infrastructure.”
Ahmiel Baum, a 27-year UBS veteran who worked in a downtown Pittsburgh office similarly highlighted technology on Thursday as the primary motivation for his decision to become an independent registered investment adviser after 40 years at wirehouses. But he castigated the captive wirehouse world as a whole
A UBS spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on the Wentling team’s departure and explanation.
UBS, whose broker count in the U.S. has slipped below 6,000 compared with more than 14,000 at Morgan Stanley, last month also lost a father-and-son team producing $3.5 million in the Pittsburgh suburb of Canonsburg to Wells Fargo Advisors.
Morgan Stanley also hired a complex manager in New York City last week who had 25 years of experience at UBS. That countered UBS’ recruitment of a Morgan Stanley producing branch manager in Walnut Creek, California, in March.
Wentling, who Forbes ranked #144 on its 2020 Best-In-Pennsylvania Wealth Advisors list has worked with Barbarita since 1977 when they were with regional dealer Moore, Leonard & Lynch, according to BrokerCheck.
Brian Tarquinio began his career with a four-year stint at Merrill Lynch prior to joining UBS in 2006, which his brother joined a year later, according to the database. Feeney spent all but a few months of his 16-year brokerage career with UBS, and Deschaine was with the U.S. unit of the Swiss bank for half of his eight-year career as a registered rep, according to their BrokerCheck records.
Separately, five advisors who were managing $450 million in client assets at Raymond James’ employee channel in Florida joined Janney Montgomery Scott last Friday.
Jeff Sellers, Greg Young and Jack Gary III, who were generating $3 million in annual revenue at Raymond James, left after 23, 20 and 25 years, respectively, for Philadelphia-based Janney’s Palm Beach Gardens branch, it said. Jack Gary’s son Brian, who has been a registered rep for four years, also moved along with three-year rep Beth Young and three client associates.
The group was recruited by Frank Amigo, a former Raymond James complex manager who joined Janney in 2017, according to Jeff Smith, the firm’s recruiting head
Janney, a subsidiary of life insurer Penn Mutual, has added a gross 26 advisors in the first half of 2020, and now has about 850 in 120 offices, Smith said. Janney’s advisors oversee about $80 billion of client assets, and produce, on average, $750,000 annually, he said.
Like Raymond James and other firms, most of the deals since March were finalized remotely following virtual home office visits due to Covid-19 restrictions, according to Smith. He declined to discuss specifics of the firm’s offer to Sellers’ group, but said Janney has increased terms for high producers in the past few months as work-at-home restrictions were occurring.
Sellers, who began his brokerage career in 1986 at J. B. Hanauer & Co., moved to Raymond James in 1997. Young first registered as a broker in 1995 with Pruco Securities, and worked at Asset Management Securities Corp. before joining Raymond James in 2000. Gary, who has been a registered rep selling munis since 1970 at Dupont Glore Forgan, worked at seven different firms before settling into Raymond James in 1995, according to their BrokerCheck histories.