Wells Fargo Loses $7 Billion Advisor Amid Falling Headcount

October 2021

By Andrew Welsch

Another big advisor has bid farewell to Wells Fargo .

Ignacio Barcena, who oversaw $7 billion in client assets, and his assistant, Liliana Borrero, left the firm to join Insigneo, a Miami-based independent broker-dealer that has picked up a bevy of ex-Wells Fargo advisors this year.

The move represents another significant win for Insigneo and another loss for Wells Fargo, which has struggled to retain advisors.

Barcena, who is based in Miami, spent much of his 30-year career at Wells Fargo and predecessor firm Prudential Securities. He caters to wealthy clients from Latin America.

“Now more than ever, with the current times we’re living in, making this change is right for me and my team, but most importantly for my own clients,” Barcena said in a statement. “I am confident Insigneo is the best fit and is going to lead us in the right direction.”

A Wells Fargo representative was unavailable for immediate comment.

The bank has suffered significant advisor attrition in recent years as the consumer bank has been rocked by fake account scandals and regulatory inquiries. Headcount at the end of the third quarter stood at 12,552, down a net 1,241 year over year, according to the company’s earnings report. Some advisors have left to join competitors while others have departed to launch their own independent firms. For instance, a group of advisors who oversaw $5 billion in assets under administration at Wells Fargo’s private bank quit to open an independent firm, Private Wealth Asset Management, in September.

Also contributing to the decline in headcount was Wells Fargo’s decision earlier this year to exit the international wealth management segment and focus on its core business of serving U.S. clients. The policy shift prompted a slew of advisors who cater to that clientele to look for employment elsewhere, with many of them landing at Insigneo and Snowden Lane Partners, an independent firm based in New York and founded by former Merrill Lynch executives.

Among the more notable recruits in recent months, Insigneo picked up an all-female team from Wells Fargo Advisors in July. That Miami-based group managed more than $800 million in assets. A month earlier, Snowden Lane recruited a solo advisor who managed a similar level of assets at Wells Fargo.

Insigneo has made a strong recruiting push in 2021.


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
institutional clients.

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
advisory partnership.

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.

For more information about Snowden Lane, please visit www.snowdenlane.com.

Kevin Santo
Water & Wall