Raymond James Recruits 3 Wirehouse Teams, $875M in Client Assets

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch grab advisors from each other in the latest recruiting push.

National broker-dealers are striking recruiting deals as financial advisors try and squeeze in their summer vacation amid a robust time in the equity markets.

Raymond James Financial (RFJ), for instance, recruited three teams from wirehouse firms in the past week or so. The six advisors manage a total of $875 million in client assets.

On Friday, Raymond James said it added veteran advisors Christopher Fluehr, CFP, and Jason Mamalis in Boca Raton, Fla., from Wells Fargo Advisors. The two advisors are now part of Raymond James’ independent channel.

“Over the years, they have grown their practice by putting a true focus on doing what is best for their clients, and their strong, grounded values align closely with those of Raymond James,” said Jodi Perry, Southeast regional manager of Raymond James Financial Services, in a statement.

At Wells Fargo (WFC), the team managed more than $200 million in client assets and had annual fees and commissions in excess of $1 million.

“We knew that we wanted to pursue the independent channel to further grow our practice, and during our due diligence process, Raymond James stood out to us,” said Fluehr, in a press release. “The firm has a reputation for conservatism and over the years has maintained its advisor-centric culture.”

With more than 30 years of industry experience, Fluehr began his career in 1980 at Smith Barney, joined SunTrust Investment Services in 1999 and served as a financial advisor in Boca Raton, Florida, before moving to Wells Fargo in 2010.

Mamalis has been in the business for 10 years. He joined SunTrust Investment Services in 2007, where he worked as a financial advisor in Palm Beach, before moving to Wells Fargo in 2010.

On Thursday, Raymond James said it added a team from UBS (UBS) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida: Gary Vescio and Brandon Levine joined its traditional employee broker-dealer.

“Adding this exceptional team is another indicator that we’re attracting some of the very best advisors in the industry and is further of our firm’s appealing culture and commitment to client service,” said Ira Federer, Eastern division director of Raymond James & Associates, in a press release.

At UBS, the team managed roughly $100 million of client assets and had annual fees and commissions of over $1.4 million. They serve both retail and institutional clients.

“After an exhaustive search of all the financial advisory firms, the decision to join Raymond James was quite easy,” said Vescio, in a statement. “We were struck by the firm’s genuine client-first culture and we believe it has become the finest financial services firm in the country. We are strongly proof convinced that we can truly do what is best for our clients, while drawing upon Raymond James’ great back-office support and technology.”

Vescio started his financial services career in 1997 at Prudential Securities. He then spent five years at Wachovia followed by six years with UBS.

Levine began work in the field at Oppenheimer & Co. in 2007 and spent time at Merrill Lynch before moving to UBS in 2010.

Raymond James said last week that it recruited Henry Hauser and Suzette Dybiec from UBS in Bexley, Ohio, where they are now part of the employee channel.

“Together they bring more than 84 years of combined experience in this industry and have a proven record of performance and outstanding client service,” explained Bill Roney, RJA division director for the Great Lakes region, in a statement. “We look forward to supporting the team as they continue to grow their practice.”

The team manages more than $575 million in client assets.

Raymond James doesn’t “push advisors to be fee or transaction-based, allowing us advisors the support and freedom to do what’s truly best for clients,” Hauser said in a press release.

A 34-year industry veteran, he spent the last 24 years at McDonald Investments and remained there through the firm’s acquisition by UBS.

Dybiec has been in the financial services industry for more than 25 years, working at PaineWebber, Merrill Lynch and McDonald Investments/UBS prior to joining Raymond James.

(Raymond James will report earnings results for the quarter ended June 30 on Wednesday.)

Wirehouse Recruits

Morgan Stanley (MS) recently added five advisors from rivals, according to information shared with ThinkAdvisor last week. The recent recruits include three reps producing $1 million or more a year and one team with over $3 million in annual fees and commissions – bringing in new yearly production of close to $7 million on a combined basis.

Linda Goodson joined Morgan Stanley's Palm Harbor, Florida, office on July 3 from Wells Fargo, where she had yearly fees and commissions of $1 million and client assets of about $110 million. She reports to Terry Mccoy, branch manager.

Richard Duffy and Russell Kwok moved to Morgan Stanley's Los Angeles office on June 24 from JPMorgan Chase (JPM). The team has yearly production of about $3.5 million and reports to complex manager Gregory Laetsch.

Brian Purcell joined Morgan Stanley's Santa Rosa, California, office on June 26 from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, where he had about $1.3 million in yearly fees & commissions and about $115 million in client assets.

Also joining Morgan Stanley from Merrill Lynch is Dante Neyra, who moved to Morgan Stanley's Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, office on June 27. Neyra has yearly production of close to $1.1 million and now reports to Mark Boersma.

For its part, Merrill Lynch said Tuesday that it recruited Robert J. Labriola from Morgan Stanley with over $200 million in client assets. Labriola joined the Rockefeller Center Merrill Lynch office in New York last Friday andreports to Michael Simonds.

According to FINRA records, Labriola was with Morgan Stanley starting in April 2007. Earlier, he worked for Citigroup (2000-2007), which started a joint venture with Morgan Stanley in 2007. Prior to that, he was with Merrill Lynch from late 1995 to mid-2000 and with PaineWebber from late 1992 to late 1995.

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Check out Wirehouse Bleeding of HNW Assets Stabilizes: Cerulli on ThinkAdvisor.

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