Wirehouses, IBDs Post Final Recruiting Wins, Losses of 2012

Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and other firms saw a number of advisors come and go at year end

Broker-dealer recruiters kept up their hiring momentum through the final days of the year, with Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in particular seeing a flurry of activity—both in and out the door—before the 2013 compensation plans take effect. Still, the wirehouses weren’t the only BDs to experience some significant movement in December, as several independent broker-dealers nabbed new reps and managers.

During the past few weeks, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) said it added eight advisors from rivals Morgan Stanley (MS), Credit Suisse (CS) and RBC (RY). The new advisors have managed close to $920 million in assets and have produced some $6.4 million in yearly fees and commissions.

Thus, the latest Merrill reps have an average of $800,000 in yearly production and $115 million in assets under management.

The four reps joining from Morgan Stanley are David Vallie of Grand Blanc, Mich.; Christine Reilly of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Dan Sandlin of Chicago, and Jason Lloyd of Ventura Coast, Calif.

Craig Weinstein, formerly of Credit Suisse, came on board Merrill Lynch in Dallas, while ex-RBC reps Emory Ragsdale, Wade Myatt and Lynde Jackson are now representing Merrill in College Station, Texa.

For its part, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management says it recently recruited five Merrill FAs with about $3 million in yearly fees & commissions and close to $400 million in assets. This represents an average production level of about $600,000 and $80 million in AUM.

Nancy Buttweiler, Kristopher Schultz and David Peterson joined Morgan Stanley in St. Paul, Minn., while Richard Prybyl, Richard Farr and Steve Headrick are now part of the MSWM office in Ithaca, N.Y.

RJ, LPL and Securities America

Raymond James (RJF) said its employee broker-dealer added three financial advisors from Morgan Stanley in mid-December: Scott Cutliff, Donald Horras and Patricia Polster joined the Fort Lauderdale branch of Raymond James & Associates.

“We are pleased to welcome this team to Raymond James,” said Ira Federer, director of RJA’s eastern division, in a statement. “With years of experience, the team has developed a strong understanding of how to help clients. We are delighted they chose Raymond James to support their efforts and practice.”

The team, also known as Sunset Financial Group, has managed more than $204 million in client assets and had annual fees and commissions of about $1.5 million.

“We are thrilled to be a part of Raymond James,” said Cutliff, vice president, investments, in a press release. “We had been at the same firm for most of our careers … after looking at several firms, we found Raymond James’ culture to be the best fit for us and our clients.”

Washington Wealth Management, an independent, multi-custodial hybrid RIA that is affiliated with LPL Financial (LPLA) said early Thursday that it hired ex-Morgan Stanley complex director David Richman to serve as its market-area director for Southern California.

Richman has been hired to help Washington Wealth open at least three new offices in Southern California over the next 12 to 18 months, the firm said in a press release. It also notes that its recruited AUM increased from about $100 million in December 2011 to over $1 billion this December.

“We’re really excited to welcome Dave Richman to the WWM team,” said Rob Bartenstein, CEO of Washington Wealth Management, in a press release.

“WWM’s turnkey multi-custodial platform and unique understanding of the needs of successful advisors as they transition to independence make the firm well-positioned to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities available in Southern California and nationwide,” Bartenstein explained in a statement.

Securities America, a unit of Ladenburg Thalmann (LTS), said Tuesday that it recruited Clements Investment Group LLC of Durango, Colo.

Formerly with United Planners Financial Services, Clements Group has some $1.1 million in annual revenue and more than $100 million in client assets. It includes five financial advisors and an office in Farmington, N.M.

“We needed a partner that had a full line of services available to its advisors, especially from the retirement plans standpoint,” explained Jim Clements, founding owner of Clements Group, in a statement.

“The Clements Group went through an exhaustive due diligence process that included many top-tier broker-dealers in the independent space,” said Gregg Johnson, senior CP of branch office development and acquisitions for Securities America, in a press release. “We are extremely pleased that they chose to become a part of the Securities America family.”

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Check out where LPL Financial, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Raymond James and other broker-dealers ranked in the 12 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q3 Earnings at AdvisorOne.

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