Janney Montgomery Scott said Tuesday that it recruited a team of three Wells Fargo advisors with some $2 million in yearly fees and commissions and $288 million of client assets.
The announcement comes on the heels of The New York Times report on Friday that an attorney working with Wells Fargo shared private information, including Social Security numbers, and compensation details tied to more than 50,000 clients and advisors.
According to FINRA BrokerCheck, the group — led by Timothy J. Sullivan — registered with Janney last Thursday. However, the advisor’s records also indicate that he was with Wells Fargo Clearing Services through Monday, after spending seven years with the firm.
On Monday, as the news of Wells Fargo’s latest fiasco spread across the financial industry, one recruiter said he had received “three calls from larger teams indicating this was their last straw,” explained Danny Sarch, head of Leitner Sarch Consultants, in an interview. “And there are still some folks out there who are not yet aware of it.”
Sullivan, his son Paul E. Sullivan, and Christopher Peters are moving to Janney’s West Hartford, Connecticut, office.
They are collectively known as the Sullivan Investment Group, which includes Janice Kycia, a private client assistant.
“Tim, Paul and Chris’ long and accomplished careers are proof of their commitment to exceeding the expectations of their clients,” said George Keith, complex manager for Janney, in a statement. “With the industry knowledge and client service philosophy they’ve demonstrated, they are tremendous additions to the Janney team.”
Tim started in the business in 1970, while Paul entered the field in 1998. Peters became an advisor with Wells Fargo in 2007.
The team specializes in retirement plan services for small businesses, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. All three advisors are active in the community.
As of June 30, Wells Fargo said its advisor headcount dropped 3% from a year ago, down about 436 advisors.
On Friday, news emerged that a former Wells Fargo advisor, whose brother is suing the bank, received 1.4 gigabytes of private data on July 8. The bank insists the leak of information was “inadvertent” and was caused by human error, not by a systemwide data breach.
While the bank is taking legal action to ensure the confidential information is not passed along, it finds itself once again in the spotlight, less than a year after it agreed to pay regulators some $185 million in fines tied to fake accounts.
While the Wells Fargo brand is “iconic,” it will likely be negatively affected by nationwide news coverage of the data leak, Sarch says.
“The idea that an attachment of this size could be sent without someone checking on it first … is horrific — and astonishing,” he added.
The brand, its wealth managers and recruiters now face a tough challenge.
“You think you have seen it all and that it will hard to be surprised [by more bad news], and this comes along,” the recruiter said.
— Check out Janney, Raymond James Grab Merrill Reps: Recruiting Roundup on ThinkAdvisor.