Morgan Stanley Grabs Three Teams, Loses 1 Advisor

Morgan Stanley adds two traditional advisor teams and an institutional-consulting group, as one of its advisors departs for Raymond James

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman on Fox Business Network in April. (Photo: AP) Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman on Fox Business Network in April. (Photo: AP)

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS) said Wednesday that it had recruited one team from UBS (UBS) and one from Wells Fargo (WFC) with total yearly fees and commissions of $4.2 million. Morgan Stanley also said Monday it had hired a team of institutional consultants from UBS for its Graystone Consulting unit.

Meanwhile, a former MSSB advisor joined Raymond James (RJF) on Tuesday, where he expects to manage some $148 million in client assets and generate $860,000 in annual production or more.

The two advisors recently joining MSSB in the Houston suburb of Woodlands, Texas, are Frank Bagrier and Wes Coyle. The former UBS team has managed $135 million in assets and had yearly combined production of $1.14 million.

Joining MSSB in Clayton, Mo., are Jeffrey Hollingsworth, William Simpson and Craig Billingsley. The former Wells Fargo team will report to complex manager Richard Lindquist. The advisors’ combined trailing-12-month production is $3.2 million.

Morgan Stanley, led by James Gorman, also says its Graystone Consulting business recruited the institutional consultant John Bello (previously with UBS) and the two other members of his group, Brian Mackert and Christopher G. Olszewski. The group is based in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake, Ohio, and will report to Gregory K. Simakas, based in Pittsburg.

“We are delighted that the Greg Simakas and John Bello teams have combined to provide unified coverage of the western Pennsylvania and northern Ohio regions,” said Marc Brookman, a managing director of MSSB, in a statement. “These two teams have established themselves as premier investment consultants to prominent endowments, foundations and other institutional investors and we expect their clients to benefit from their combined expertise.” 

For his part, Bello said in a press release, “I am thrilled to join Graystone Consulting and the Simakas team, especially since Greg and I are longtime friends who value this opportunity to join forces."

Graystone Consulting provides investment-consulting services to institutional clients, including associations, endowments and foundations, corporations, health-care organizations, insurance entities, state and local governments, Taft-Hartley funds and family offices.

In the first quarter of 2012, the number of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney advisors dropped 2% from the previous quarter and 5% from last year to 17,193, while total assets under management hit nearly $1.75 trillion, a jump of 7% from the previous quarter and a 2% increase from last year. (It had 17,512 advisors in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 18,124 in the first quarter of 2011.)

These reps produced average trailing-12-month fees and commissions of $787,000 as of March 31 and managed average client assets of $101 million; these figures were both up about 5% from the same year-ago period. 

Departing Broker

On Tuesday, financial advisor Jeff Wolk and his sales assistant left MSSB to form the Wolk Group of Raymond James' employee channel in Rochester, N.Y.

“I’m delighted to welcome Jeff and Lillian to Raymond James,” said Tash Elwyn (right), RJA’s Private Client Group president, in a press release. “They are a talented team with great experience. Most importantly, they share our firm’s values of independence and client service.”

Wolk has managed more than $148 million in client assets and generated $860,000 in annual production.

"My decision to join Raymond James was one made with considerable thought and due diligence,” Wolk said in a statement. “I was attracted to the firm because of the cultural fit and alignment with my own values of putting clients’ interests first.

“The larger the national firms become, the greater the distance between the advisors and their clients,” he added. “Joining Raymond James has felt like coming back home to me.”

Wolk is a 25-year industry veteran and has served as a branch manager and senior vice president of investments. He first worked for Prudential-Bache Securities, moving on to co-found Legg Mason’s Rochester branch in 1994. Following Smith Barney’s acquisition of Legg Mason, he was later merged into Morgan Stanley.

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