Revealed: The firms that won the battle for Wells’ top talent
The Wells Fargo Advisors saga is finally coming to an end.
Since shocking the offshore wealth management industry in January by announcing it was closing its international business, Wells Fargo’s offshore rivals have been battling it out to capture its top advisor talent.
Wells Fargo’s decision to close its international wealth management business at the end of September threw into question the future of its 330 international advisors and meant the $40bn in client assets they collectively ran was now up for grabs. A quick calculation reveals that the average client book was around $120m per Wells Fargo international advisor, so it’s no wonder competition was so intense to hire them.
While the majority of the wirehouse’s international advisors left for new firms ahead of the September closure deadline date, a significant number of them made the move to their new homes in the subsequent weeks.
Also, a large portion of advisors who generated less than 40% of their revenue from international accounts opted to remain with the wirehouse by dropping their international clients in favor of generous compensation packages.
Citywire Americas has been closely tracking the movement of Wells Fargo’s international advisors since its January announcement and this year we have reported on the exit of 102 of them to rival firms.
Of those 102 advisors, we received client book estimates for 66 of them which, when combined, totaled close to $18.4bn. Applying the $120m average advisor-client book size to the remaining 36 advisors, that gives us an estimated total of more than $22.7bn for the 102 advisors.
So, which firms lead the pack in the recruitment race?
The recruitment figures below are based solely on Citywire Americas reporting and do not cover every international advisor exit from Wells Fargo since January. Several hires have gone unreported as some advisors do not wish to publicize their moves.
Topping the podium
The overall winner of the recruitment race is Morgan Stanley, with the hire of 19 Wells Fargo international advisors over the past 12 months.
The wealth management giant was quick to snap up the exiting talent, making 13 of 19 advisor hires by May, according to Citywire Americas data.
Morgan Stanley does not tend to disclose how much its advisors run, with only four of our reports including their clients’ assets.
However, turning once again to the average advisor-client book size of $120m, we can estimate that Morgan Stanley added over $1.6bn to its international wealth management business.
|Morgan Stanley WM hires||Client book size||Location|
|Carlos Vasquez||$125m||San Diego|
|Nicolas Gustavo Rueda||N/A||Miami|
|Gustavo Nicolas Cubas and Ricardo Harten||N/A||Coral Gables|
|Alejandro Mendoza Velasco||$75m||San Diego|
|Jose Daniel Larin and Fabiano Vianna||N/A||Aventura|
|Gaston Ricardes and Laureano Bello||N/A||Miami|
|Marco Antonio Olea, Carlos Candia and Gabriel Porzecanski||$600m||Miami|
Next is hybrid RIA firm Snowden Lane Partners, which scored a total of 17 hires from Wells Fargo who opted to join its independent advisor platform.
In total, the new arrivals oversaw close to $2.1bn at the wirehouse, with their biggest catch being Tony Esses who ran a client book of around $800m.
|Snowden Lane Partners hires||Client book size||Location|
|Armando Ureña, Johanna Haza and Omar Macias||$360m||Miami|
|Alfredo Garcia & Fabian Munoz||$100m||NYC|
|Mike Toledo, Jacobson Bathelmy, Wilton Mejia and Carolina Yepez||$400m||NYC|
|Joe Oliveira, Jessy Mogro, Ana Paula O’Keefe and Jorge Silva||$210m||NYC|
Following closely behind with 15 hires is Alex. Brown. The firm has been one of the most active recruiters of Wells Fargo talent in the second half of the year, bringing in 11 advisors since May.
Overall, the 15 advisors they hired oversaw more than $2.7bn in client assets at Wells Fargo.
|Alex. Brown hires||Client book size||Location|
|Christopher Murrle Philippsen||$310m||Miami|
|Juan Felipe Souza and Fernando Riojas||N/A||Miami|
|Jose Diaz, Veronica Cereceda, Robert Dunn, Astrid Rodriguez +1||$1.7bn||Miami|
|Doraida Fernandez and Carlos Eduardo Paez||$230m||Miami|
|Juan Martin Recio||$120m||Miami|
|James Levy and Jorge Benitez||$200m||Miami|
Miami-based independent RIA and broker-dealer Insigneo also proved to be a popular destination for departing Wells Fargo advisors, with 13 opting to set up their own shop on the firm’s advisor platform.
The arrival that caught a lot of people’s attention was that of Ignacio Barcena, who at Wells Fargo ran over $7bn in client assets. Sources said at the time that a large portion of his assets came from one account.
|Insigneo hires||Client book size||Location|
|Janel Vidal Perez||N/A||Miami|
|Luis Garcia Pinto||N/A||NYC|
|Alain Guerra and Edward Varona||$345m||Miami|
|Isadora ‘Sisi’ del Llano, Yzana Oestreicher, Maria Elena Garcia and Nilia Gasson||$800m||Miami|
|Jeffrey Kline Sr. and his son Jeffrey Kline II||N/A||Miami|
Fellow independent advisor platform Bolton Global Capital also manage to recruit 12 advisors from the wirehouse, seven of which came from one team running around $1bn in assets.
|Bolton Global Capital hires||Client book size||Location|
|Felix Bosque, Andrei Santos, Rafael Sotillo, Norvin Ulloa, Leonardo Tedeschi, Jorge Aguerrevere and Ernesto Amengual||$1bn||Miami|
|Joaquin Dupont and Federico Alonso / Mark Van Der Eijk and Jose Cano / Erick Mejia||$650m||Miami, Weston, Washington DC|
Another firm whose hiring headcount from Wells Fargo hit double figures was Raymond James.
The Florida-based group added 11 advisors to its branches in Miami and Coral Gables. Their combined client books when they were at Wells Fargo totaled over $2.5bn.
|Raymond James hires||Client book size||Location|
|Andres Galvez and Edwin Shedd||$200m||Miami|
|Orlando Garcia and Lizzette Inchaustegui||$700m||Coral Gables|
|Maria Jose Pessoa||$140m||Miami|
|Miguel Viyella||$800m||Coral Gables|
|Oscar Gonzalez and Rafael Sagabarria||$160m||Coral Gables|
Elsewhere, Sanctuary Wealth managed to secure an eight-person team from the wirehouse to add to their Mexico-focused units based in Texas.
Among the other groups that added a Wells Fargo international advisor to their ranks were Oppenheimer, VectorGlobal, Miura Capital and UCAP.
One of the big-name absentees from the recruitment frenzy was UBS Wealth Management, which only added one international advisor from Wells Fargo this year.
About Snowden Lane Partners
Snowden Lane is a nationally branded, open-architecture, hybrid registered investment advisor and
broker-dealer that provides wealth advisory services to high net-worth individuals, families, and
Snowden Lane is led by an experienced team of industry executives, including Lyle LaMothe, Chairman
of the Board of Managers, Rob Mooney, Managing Partner & CEO, and Greg Franks, Managing Partner,
President & COO, who are dedicated to building a client-focused, nationally branded, boutique wealth
Snowden Lane is headquartered in New York City and operates an SEC registered investment adviser
and a broker-dealer. Snowden Lane provides a multi-custodian, multi-currency platform, with
aggregated performance reporting and leading analytical tools for clients and advisors. It further
provides full operational, finance, compliance, human resources, and financial advisor transition support
to its financial advisors.
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