Biggest recruiting moves of 2018

**This article was shared courtesy of Financial Planning (  Written and edited by Andrew Welsch. 

This year’s largest recruiting moves boast some impressive stats: 17 teams and solo advisors overseeing $75 billion in assets.

The overall number of billion-dollar moves is down from last year’s 24, but the combined AUM is up thanks to several teams that advise on institutional as well as private client assets.

The firms that are ending the year as the new homes of these elite brokers include a diverse cast: regional BDs, wirehouses, boutiques and RIAs. Some names are familiar, such as Raymond James and J.P. Morgan Securities, while a few may surprise. And, continuing a trend of past years, several billion-dollar wirehouse teams launched their own RIAs.

This list only includes moves and asset figures that have been confirmed. All moves are either within the employee channel or breakaway brokers.

Scroll through to see where these elite advisors landed.

Raymond James’s big haul
In August, Raymond James picked up a $1 billion team from Wells Fargo, making it the biggest hire of an already busy recruiting year for the St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm.

The nine-member team joined Raymond James’ employee channel in New York and includes support staff and four veteran advisors: Stephen Adler, Mark Levy, Roger Jee and Michael Lubin.

They were drawn to Raymond James for its culture and as a place to grow their expanding practice, they say.

“It represents the way we like to do business. It’s client-centric and FA-centric,” Levy says.

To read more about the team, click here.

Billion-dollar breakaway
A Merrill Lynch team that managed over $1 billion in client assets quit to form an independent wealth management firm in Savannah, Georgia, with the backing of Focus Financial Partners.

Financial advisors Kelly Bouchillon, his wife Melissa Bouchillon, Emerson Ham and Eddie Ambrose left Merrill Lynch on Friday to found Sound View Wealth Advisors.

None of the advisors in the group had ever switched firms before, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. With 28 years of experience, Kelly Bouchillion has the longest career of the team.The group was motivated to make a change because Merrill Lynch had been evolving into a more bank-dominated entity, particularly after former Merrill Lynch head John Thiel retired, they say.

“When John Thiel retired the messaging really started to change,” Melissa Bouchillon says. “Thiel was very much goal-based planning, optimal practice model, you’re better able to serve clients when you’re on teams and each of you specialize in different areas.”

Click here to read more about the team.

$1B team exits Merrill Lynch
A Merrill Lynch team managing almost $1 billion in client assets opened up an RIA with Dynasty Financial Partners, marking another substantial chunk of assets moving away from the wirehouse.

Brandywine Oak Private Wealth, led by CEO Michael Henley, works with high-net-worth individuals and specializes in navigating complex tax strategies. The Kennett Square, Pennsylvania-based team includes COO Alison Brooks, founding partners Steve Maconi, Mark Jackson and Tracy McGuire, CCO Brittany Kalsky, senior associate Erin Yake and associate David Clark.

At 34 years old, Henley was ranked No. 1 in the state of Delaware in Forbes’ “America’s Top Next Generation Wealth Advisor” in 2018 and ranked No. 42 nationwide. Six out of the eight partners are in their 30s. “We have a two or three-decade runway ahead of us,” Henley says. “We can really see ourselves building out the business, and we weren’t looking to build it inside a big bank. We wanted to do it on our own.”

To read more, click here.

Big pickup for J.P. Morgan Securities
At Wells Fargo, the losses keep mounting.

Jack Hafner, an advisor who was listed in Barron’s last year as managing $1.2 billion in client assets, is the latest to exit Wells Fargo. He moved to J.P. Morgan Securities, the bank’s elite brokerage unit catering to wealthy clients, a spokeswoman for the bank confirmed.

Hafner highlighted J.P. Morgan Securities’ brand and intellectual capital as reasons he made the career switch.

“Over the past two decades in the industry, I have found that a boutique culture like that at JPMS is best for serving my clients. Many high caliber advisors have joined JPMS over the past 18 months, and I am excited to join the ranks,” he said in a statement, referring to the firm’s aggressive recruiting efforts.


Big loss for Wells Fargo, big gain for RBC
RBC recruited a team that managed $1.4 billion at Wells Fargo, making it one of the biggest departures from the beleaguered wirehouse.

Eugene Bosart, a member of the team, pointed to RBC’s reputation and “deep resources” as reasons for his team’s career change, according to a statement.

With his departure, Wells Fargo loses an industry veteran of 50 years, according to Bosart’s FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Bosart’s team, which includes his sons, now operates from RBC’s office in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

To read more about Bosart’s team, click here.

$1.4B Goldman Sachs broker departs to start RIA with Dynasty
Leaving the stability and resources of a big bank can be difficult, but for former Goldman Sachs wealth advisor Gary Hirschberg, the scales finally tipped in favor of independence this year when he realized how competitive RIAs had become.

The combination of “stellar” wealth management technology and diverse investment options available in the independent space wowed him, Hirschberg says.

This wasn’t the case five to 10 years ago, but “it has changed enough that RIAs can now compete with the Goldmans of the world and produce the same investments,” said Hirschberg, who oversaw $1.4 billion while at Goldman Sachs.

To read more, click here.

$2B team leaves Merrill Lynch
J.P. Morgan Securities recruited two Merrill Lynch advisors who were previously part of a team overseeing more than $2 billion in client assets, the firm said.

Jason Gordon and Thomas Scott Holstead represent the firm’s first hires in 2018, according to J.P. Morgan Securities. They leave behind Phillip Leonard and his son Bryan Leonard. A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan Securities and Merrill Lynch declined to comment on the split.

Holstead ranked No. 55 on Barron’s top advisors in Texas list in 2016, which pegged him with overseeing approximately $1.9 billion in assets.

By joining J.P. Morgan Securities, Holstead and Gordon are launching the boutique wealth manager’s presence in Houston, where it previously did not have any advisors.

Click here to read more.

First Republic lands Merrill Lynch duo
Merrill Lynch advisors Jeffrey Schottenstein and Stuart Wechsler joined First Republic Bank in January.

They previously oversaw approximately $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the move.

The veteran advisors — each has more than 20 years of experience — work from two branches: San Francisco and Greenwich, Connecticut, according to First Republic. They serve wealthy clients, nonprofits and foundations.

Janney lands team that oversaw $2B
In May, Janney Montgomery Scott landed one of its biggest hires of the year: a team that advised on nearly $2 billion in assets.

Glasgow Wealth Management Group joined the firm in Franklin, Tennessee. The team ― comprised of Steven Glasgow, Stephen Evans, Jordan Sibler, Danielle Garofolo, and Frank Moore ― was previously affiliated with independent advisory firm Avondale Partners. The team works with retail and institutional investors, having advised on $1.8 billion in institutional assets and over $163 million in assets for retail clients, according to Janney.

Glasgow, an industry veteran of 27 years, also has past work experience at Morgan Stanley and Paine Webber.

“We decided to make the move to Janney because it proved to be the firm that aligned best with our needs, and the needs of our clients,” Glasgow said in a statement.

Click here to read more

Rockefeller lands $2.2B UBS advisors
Rockefeller Capital Management landed another big grab, picking up two UBS advisors who oversaw $2.2 billion in combined assets as part of its efforts to build out its wealth management unit.

Justin Ryan and Tom Epperson joined the firm in Atlanta.

“They exemplify the kind of integrity-driven, high-quality advisors that we want to attract in markets across the country,” Greg Fleming, CEO of Rockefeller Capital Management, said in a statement.

Ryan had been with UBS since 2009, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He previously worked at Smith Barney. Epperson joined UBS from Lehman Brothers in 2008; he had worked at Lehman for a decade prior to the move.

Click here to read more.

Ex-Merrill Lynch advisor goes indie with Dynasty
A former Merrill Lynch advisor, who was terminated for not properly filing compliance forms, has opened an RIA with Dynasty Financial.

Bruce Keebeck Lee opened Keebeck Wealth Management and will be joined by Partner Joseph Polakoff, Chief Investment Officer Mathew Klody, Director of Operations Stephanie Roberts, Vice President of Client Solutions Alexa Hyman and Matthew Carey, an analyst. The team is headquartered in Chicago.

Lee has been named to Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors list intermittently since 2007. This year he was No. 79 in the rankings and managed $2.4 billion in client assets with an average client net worth of $100 million. He has also been recognized among Financial Times’ Top 400 Financial Advisors since as early as 2014, according to a company release.

“An RIA is the natural evolution of a seasoned private banker to offer broader services, greater objectivity, fiduciary standards and about 10 other reasons as to why — for an advisor who’s been in the business 30 years — this is the next iteration,” Lee says.

To read more, click here.

First Republic lands $2.5B advisor
An elite UBS advisor moved his practice to First Republic Bank.

Steve Levine, an industry veteran of more than 30 years, joined the bank in Century City, California, according to First Republic. Levine was a top Forbes advisor this year and was listed as managing about $2.5 billion in client assets.

In addition to UBS, Levine has past work experience at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.

Mega Goldman team launches RIA
F3Logic, a new platform provider, has landed its first major client, marking an impressive debut in an increasingly crowded field.

F3Logic, which is also an RIA, has signed on Veracity Capital, a breakaway advisory team from Goldman Sachs-owned Ayco that previously managed approximately $2.5 billion.

Veracity CEO Kevin Gray looked at several other platform providers and RIAs before settling on F3Logic. “They were willing to create a customized solution for us, and from the beginning that was our goal for clients,” Gray says.

To read more about the move, click here.

Merrill’s $4.1B loss
A team led by two top Merrill Lynch advisors quit the wirehouse to launch an independent RIA: Kore Private Wealth. The group oversaw about $4.1 billion, according to the latest Barron’s rankings.

Eric Bodner and Ben Sax are industry veterans, each with more than 30 years of industry experience, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. They had been with Merrill Lynch since 2009, and previously worked at UBS.

The team is based in New York.

33-year Merrill vet leads $4.5B team to First Republic
A mega team quit Merrill Lynch to join First Republic in Boston, the bank said.

The team is led by industry veteran Jim Atwood, who was ranked on Barron’s this year with $4.5 billion in AUM. He had spent his entire career — more than three decades — at Merrill Lynch before making the move to First Republic.

The Boston-based group also includes senior team members Jeff Atwood, Tom O’Brien, Julie Rousseau, McLane Cover, Brendan York, and Zach Calahan.

Atwood and his team made the move in April, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

Merrill grabs JPMorgan duo
Merrill Lynch picked up a JPMorgan duo that caters to the ultrawealthy.

Advisors Kirk Cunningham and Todd Helfrich left JPMorgan in April, joining Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking & Investment Group after a short garden leave.

JPMorgan had filed a lawsuit against Cunningham and Helfrich, claiming that they had violated non-solicitation agreements they signed while employees and that they had also taken confidential client contact information. The two men had worked for the company’s private bank in Chicago. JPMorgan says they advised clients with about $14 billion in collective assets.

The advisors and JPMorgan reached a settlement in September.

Click here to read more.

$30B team joins UBS
UBS hired a team that managed $30 billion in client assets at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, a big pickup for the Swiss bank in the rarefied world of ultrarich international clients. A spokeswoman from UBS confirmed the move, which occurred in March.

The team, which primarily caters to ultrahigh-net-worth clients based in Mexico, includes Carlos Rodriguez Aspirichaga, Miguel Barbosa, Ricardo Mendez, Alfonso Barros and Juan Calderón, the spokeswoman said.

Aspirichaga previously served as head of J.P. Morgan Private Bank Mexico and worked with business executives, family offices and foundations, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had been with the bank since 2010 and worked from Miami, New York and Mexico City.

To read more, click here.


**This article was shared courtesy of Financial Planning (  Written and edited by Andrew Welsch. 


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