This article practically writes itself. When Merrill Lynch advisors ‘vote with their feet’ and beat a path to a firm with no CEO and continued congressional scrutiny, it’s signaling an all-time low for the former ‘thundering herd’.
At this point, we should change that moniker to ‘whimpering herd’. Oof.
Over the past few weeks, a large team from Merrill Lynch joined Wells Fargo in Texas, while Morgan Stanley advisors did the same in other locations.
So this isn’t just a Merrill Lynch phenomenon; rather, a continued drumbeat of rejection for wirehouses that used to completely dominate the wealth management landscape.
“In Dallas, Michael M. Charne and Brett R. Levy arrived at Wells’ Preston Road branch on June 7 after nine-and-a-half years at Merrill Lynch, according to their BrokerCheck records. The pair, who began their careers with Oppenheimer & Co., had been generating about $2 million in annual revenue, according to a person familiar with their practice.”
And per the Morgan to Wells transitions:
“In Baltimore, David Butler left Morgan Stanley on May 31 after 10 years to join Wells Advisors’ W. Pratt Street branch, according to a posting on LinkedIn and his BrokerCheck record. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2008, Butler had spent 16 years at Merrill Lynch, according to his BrokerCheck report. He did not return a request for comment at his Wells office, where he is listed as a vice president, the same title he had at Morgan Stanley.”
“In Valdosta, Georgia, Kevin Giddens left Morgan Stanley on May 31 after eight-and-a-half years for Wells. Giddens, who had split his 17-year career between Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, said he wanted to stay with a large firm that offered a wide range of brokerage and banking services but would not discuss why he left Morgan Stanley to join the four-advisor Wells branch in the small Georgia town.”
Wells Fargo is currently repoing the largest recruiting deal on the street – and coupled it with larger payouts for recruiters who’ve chosen to partner with them.
As the saying goes, “money talks and…” you know the rest.