Four ex-Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS) advisors moved to RBC Wealth Management (RY) on Tuesday, while eight moved to Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC) over the past two weeks, according to company sources. The former Morgan Stanley advisors expect to move more than $865 million in assets and $6 million in production.
While the move partly reflects ongoing dissatisfaction with the Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney integration, some experts say, it doesn’t reflect any new spike in advisor movement.
“I don’t see this as a trend,” saidthe recruiter Rick Peterson, of Peterson & Associates in Houston, in an interview with AdvisorOne. “Advisors are leaving everywhere. And a regional Morgan Stanley manager contacted me to say they were talking to lots of Wells Fargo advisors, for instance.” (UBS, for instance, said it had recruited a three-member team in Illinois from Wells late on Tuesday.)
Other recruiters agree. “Retention deals continue to amortize, and the market has been good,” said Mark Elzweig, a New York-based executive-search consultant, in an interview. “We’ll continue to see increased movement this year.”
Still, Peterson says, RBC—though it doesn’t have offer the largest recruiting package on the Street today—is sharing a good-sized deal with new reps. Plus, RBC’s recruiter in the Southwest, Darryl Trewig, does a “great job” at attracting wirehouse reps to the firm.
Morgan Stanley, which reported its first-quarter results on Thursday, saw its advisor headcount shrink by about 300 reps. “But in terms of recruiting from the other wirehouses, it is positive territory on a net basis so far this year,” Peterson explained.
Joining RBC in Houston from MSSB is the team of Gene Theobald, Otho Evans and Teresa Castillo, who managed about $330 million in client assets and had yearly fees and commissions of $2.6 million; their primary focus is on tax-free municipal bonds.