In the past two years, Barclays and RW Baird have made quite a splash on the recruiting scene. Both have snagged an impressive group of top advisors from wirehouse competitors.
Barclays, the British-based financial services firm, recently hired 14 advisors whose assets under management totaled $4.5 billion. The firm has about 250 U.S.-based advisors who focus on clients with $10 million-plus retail accounts. It expects to hire between 50 and 100 advisors per year.
Barclays has done a phenomenal job rebranding and upgrading the capabilities of the old Lehman.
Baird is a Milwaukee-based regional firm with 660 advisors.
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It’s hired around 50 advisors and branch management personnel this year. These were also members of a high-end group that their former firms would now include in their “regretted attrition” stats.
Baird has hired more than 100 advisors since 2009 and has opened several branches in different parts of the country.
Why have two so different firms emerged as powerhouse recruiters?
First, the 2008 market wipeout caused (to put it mildly) much damage to the reputations of the major wirehouse firms. As a result, many advisors now view well-capitalized firms with untarnished names as attractive places to be.
Today, advisors at Baird and Barclays are able to leverage off their new firms unsullied brand to both bring over new clients and win new ones. They can inspire confidence by pointing to their new firm’s savvy avoidance of the colossal blunders of the TARP era.
Regional-firm advisors can boast that their firms are not even involved in the problematic busineses that racked up such devastating losses.
Increased access to platform resources is another driver. Three out of four wirehouse brokers are now at larger, newly merged organizations.
While wirehouse advisors generally respect the breadth of their firm’s platform, wirehouses can be plagued by low morale.