RECRUITING: Regionals Continue To Embrace Epic Opportunity

Much has been written regarding the draw down of recruiting deals in the wirehouse space; connected to the protocol exit and its implementation across the wirehouse world. Beginning with UBS, both Merrill and Morgan Stanley have either completely stood down or significantly reduced the scale and scope of their recruiting efforts. (Wells Fargo remains the exception, currently.) 

But there has been little dialogue dedicated to the significant uptick in regional recruiting results and the deals still on the books at places like Janney, Raymond James, RBC, Jeffries, Ameriprise, and Stifel. Janney’s current deal (link to deal here) tops out well above 200%. Ameriprise’s deal tops out well above 300%. 

Both Janney and Ameriprise have made significant hires over the past three months. Respectively they have both collected better than a $1B in assets and find themselves amongst the leaders in asset transfer and headlines. 

RBC has made significant strides in landing larger wirehouse teams and projecting a culture that has made many ‘old guard’ wire guys very, very comfortable. Ditto for Raymond James. 

Stifel’s National Head of Recruiting John Pierce had this to say about the curren rotation and phenomenon, “The ‘Protocol Exit’ turned into a bigger opportunity for us than we expected and allowed us to have more and more conversations. It seems to me that our firm is uniquely positioned to benefit from a rotation away from the ‘wire to wire’ moves. My guess is that over the next 12 months you will see a significant uptick in wirehouse teams moving to firms positioned similar to our organization.”

Most ‘regional’ (not a huge fan of that term as it is a bit outdated – most of the firms in this discussion are national from a geographic footprint) firm deals are equal to or larger than the wire deals, right now. 

Tenured advisors are looking for comfortable confines with firms that, frankly, feel like Merrill and Morgan did two decades ago. Where their comp doesn’t change every fifteen minutes and management stays out of their books. These firms fit that bill. 

If a given team isn’t ready to take the reins of a quarterly P&L, and all that entails beginning anew with a platform firm – the opportunity at regionals might feel like the right temperature of porridge.

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