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March B/D Briefs: News & Products

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Commonwealth Financial Network announced in late January that Wayne Bloom, its managing principal of wealth management, will succeed Chairman Joseph Deitch as CEO effective immediately (see IA Interview on page 30 for more on Bloom’s priorities). Deitch will continue as chairman of the firm, which is based in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego and celebrates the 30th anniversary of its founding this year. In an interview, Bloom stressed that “Joe is not going away,” and that Deitch had “been training me to do this job for years.” The broker/dealer has about 1,300 representatives and 400 employees. Bloom, one of the 11 principals of the firm, joined Commonwealth in 1989 from Fidelity Investments….

Tom Wirtshafter has been named president of American Portfolios Financial Services (APFS) and American Portfolios Advisors Inc. (APA). As president of APFS, Wirtshafter succeeds Frank Tauches who will remain with the broker/dealer as executive vice president and chief legal counsel. Wirtshafter also succeeds Thomas LoManto as president of APA. LoManto will remain with the firm as senior vice president of Advisory Services. In an interview, Tauches noted that Wirtshafter had been on American Portfolios’ board since 2004, and that he “brings to our firm a whole other level of expertise.” Tauches said revenue at the broker/dealer increased in 2008, especially due to the new reps American Portfolios added during the year, including several from wirehouses like Merrill Lynch, which brings the firm’s total rep force up to 560. “There’s more glamor on being an advisor on Main Street,” Tauches says, “than there is a wirehouse rep from Wall St. …

Raymond James & Associates said it added 43 new advisors to its ranks in the first quarter of the 2009 fiscal year. These advisors joined the traditional employee broker/dealer subsidiary of Raymond James Financial from a variety of financial services firms–together they have more than $3 billion in assets under management and an average production of $590,000. Among the newcomers are Todd Brandstadt from Wachovia/A.G. Edwards in Grand Rapids, Michigan; James Sims of Atlanta, who arrived from Merrill Lynch; and Vicky Campbell, Ruth Doepel, and Therese Meike, previously with Wachovia/A.G. Edwards in Naperville, Illinois…

The SEC charged seven individuals involved in an insider trading ring that the Commission said generated more than $11.6 million in illegal profits and avoided losses. The SEC alleges that two mergers and acquisitions professionals–Nicos Achilleas Stephanou at UBS Investment Bank and Ramesh Chakrapani at Blackstone Advisory Services, L.P.–tipped five individuals with material nonpublic information about three pending corporate acquisitions.


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