Recruiting Roundup: Wells Adds 31 FAs With $3.5 Billion

LPL, Raymond James and Securities America also grab reps from rivals

Wells Fargo (WFC) said Friday that it had recruited 24 advisors with $2.2 billion in assets this fall for its traditional Private-Client Group channel. Its independent-advisor channel, FiNet, said Wednesday that it added seven advisors with about $1.3 billion in assets in November.

Meanwhile Raymond James (RJF) said Monday it recruited a Morgan Stanley (MS) team with about $80 million in assets and $1 in yearly fees & commissions.

Also this week, LPL Financial (LPLA) said it attracted an advisor from Wells Fargo, and Securities America said it recruited a former-LPL affiliated team of FAs to its independent broker-dealer operations.

Wells’ Latest Recruits

One group coming on board Wells Fargo's employee advisor channel over the past few months is the ESH Group, which includes Robert Evans, Walt Shinault and Richard Hastings in Oxford, Miss. They joined from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC). The team has a total of 76 years of industry experience and prior AUM of $250 million.

Also moving to Wells from Merrill was W. Howard Humphrey. The Parkersburg, W. Va.-based advisor has 20 years of industry experience and prior assets of $101 million.

The Siegel Group, comprised of financial advisors Andrew Siegel, Nickolaus Roeschley and William Kulesh, joined Wells in Scottsdale, Ariz., from Morgan Stanley. The team members have 52 years of industry experience and prior AUM of $231 million.

In Irvine, Calif., financial advisors Nancy Johnson and Susan Ellena joined from Morgan Stanley. They have a total of 60 years of experience in the industry and prior AUM of $210 million.

The Willow Bend Group, comprised of financial advisors Chris Queen, Peggy Etheridge and Jason Hofnagel, came on board Wells in Plano, Texas, from Morgan Stanley. The team members have 49 years of total industry experience and prior AUM of $206 million.

The Meeks-Coburn Group, comprised of financial advisors Curtis Coburn and Wade Meeks, moved to Wells in Little Rock, Ark., from Morgan Stanley. The reps have a total of 55 years of industry experience and prior AUM of $127 million.

Robert Shwedel and Andrea Roth joined Wells from UBS (UBS) in Walnut Creek, Calif., which is part of the Bay Area. Combined, the father and daughter have 39 years of industry experience and prior AUM of $196 million.

Rich Ceffalio also moved from UBS to WFA. He is based in Arlington Heights, Illi. He spent four years at UBS but had previously spent 11 years at Wells. Ceffalio has 19 years of experience in the industry and prior AUM of $165 million. He brought a financial advisor in training, Jim Cox, with him.

Susan Gallagher joined WFA in Bethesda, Md., from UBS with 29 years of experience in the industry and $146 million in assets. Curt Coulter joined the Pittsburgh branch of WFA from UBS. He has 17 years of experience and prior AUM of $134 million.

Greg Moore came to Wells in Portland, Ore., from Webush Morgan. He has 17 years of experience in the industry and a prior AUM of $139 million.

The Hart Investment Group, which includes Robert Hart and Thomas Tonkovich, joined the Spring Lake, N.J., Wells branch from RBC Capital Markets. Combined, the team members have 23 years of industry experience and prior AUM of $107 million.

Allen Wilson, joined Wells in Morristown, N.J. from Stifel Nicolaus (SF). He has 19 years of experience in the industry and prior AUM of $212 million. Also joining from Stifel is Bradley Gummow. Chicago-based Gummow has 30 years of experience in the industry and prior AUM of $100 million.

FiNet Additions

The independent-advisor channel of Wells Fargo picked up the KBT Group in Westlake Village, Calif., comprised of financial advisors Michael Kazmer, Larry Bernstein and Abby Dinkins. The team joined FiNET from Merrill Lynch with about $620 million in assets.

Trailhead Wealth Management, comprised of financial advisors Bryan Pieper and Gregory Stringari joined FiNET in Louisville, Colo., with some $270 million in assets.

Michelle Lavigne, in Stamford, Conn., moved to the already existing FiNET practice of Adaptive Wealth Management. She has 24 years of experience in the industry (including work for UBS and Merrill) and AUM of $128 million.

B. Scott Wilson joined FiNET in Dorset, Vt., with 16 years of experience and AUM of $110 million.

Raymond James’ Recruiting

Raymond James announced Monday that it recruited Karl Rothermund as senior vice president of investments in the Scottsdale, Ariz., office of Raymond James & Associates the traditional employee broker-dealer of Raymond James Financial.

“I am pleased to welcome Karl to Raymond James,” said Pat Allison, division director of the firm’s Southwestern Division, in a statement. “Clients are sure to benefit from his years of investment experience and the expertise he brings to the Scottsdale location.”

A 35-year financial services industry veteran, Rothermund came to Raymond James from Morgan Stanley, where he managed $80 million in client assets and had about $1 million in annual production. (He joined Smith Barney 19 years ago and left to join Morgan Stanley in 2006.)

“I was looking for a firm that really puts its clients first,” said Rothermund, in a statement. “Raymond James’ fee structure is one feature that attracted me to the firm. I am now able to translate multiple savings to my clients through lower fees, including those on IRAs, Capital Access and discretionary asset management.”

LPL’s New Affiliated Advisor

Sovereign Coast Wealth Advisors, of Corpus Christi, Texas, recruited Michael Koletar from Wells Fargo to join the LPL-affiliated group, which manages about $800 million in assets, according to an announcement made on Wednesday.

Koletar will be a senior vice president of investments.

“The Sovereign Coast Wealth Advisors and Sovereign Investment Group teams are elated to have Michael Koletar join our family of [20-plus] financial professionals,” said Sovereign  Coast President William Vaseliades, in a press release. “His expertise in investment and wealth management, along with his dedication to clients, will integrate seamlessly with our philosophy of providing personalized service and unbiased advice with our clients’ best interests in mind.”

“I am very pleased to be associated with a firm that has access to the resources and technology I need to ensure optimal service for my clients,” said Koletar, in a statement. “The range of strategies I can now offer them has expanded dramatically.”

Move to Securities America

Michael Mullis, formerly affiliated with LPL Financial, and his team became registered representatives with Securities America Inc., an independent broker-dealer located in La Vista, Neb., on Thursday.

“It is important to us to be with a broker-dealer that provides our clients with the stability of a large broker-dealer without losing any of our firm’s independence,” Mullis said in a press release. “Securities America’s commitment to its advisors stands out amongst broker-dealer firms across the nation. This reassures us that we have found a partner that will provide our clients with the highest quality service.”

The team of Kelley & Mullis Wealth Management in Vestavia, Ala., has more than $223 million in client assets. It includes four advisors.

“Securities America gives specialized attention and resources to its advisors that we feel is an important role for our broker-dealer,” Mullis explained. “We are very excited about working with their business consultation group, and bringing the latest technology, CRM and support for all levels of management to our firm.”

“We are excited to welcome Michael Mullis and his practice to the Securities America family,” said Gregg Johnson, senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions, for Securities America, in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with Kelley and Mullis Wealth Management to ensure a smooth transition and to provide this practice with our extensive technology, practice management and business growth resources.”

Securities America is a unit of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services (LTS).

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