UBS leadership may be extolling the virtues of a smaller broker force and potentially higher profits, but we’d wager this wasn’t necessarily part of the Powerpoint presentation. In fact, there may be a head or two that could roll in LA for losing these types of teams to the competition.
“Ronald Weckbacher and Gregory Webster, who worked for 11 of their respective 36 and 25 years as brokers with UBS, joined First Republic on Friday, according to their BrokerCheck histories. They had generated about $5 million in annual revenue for UBS on about $325 million in client assets, said a person who claimed familiarity with their book of business.”
“San Francisco-based First Republic has fewer than 200 traditional brokers to complement its core private banking activities, but has been offering lucrative hiring packages to experienced advisers on the West and East coasts to build the smaller business.”
“Sanah Chung, John B. Barnes and the father-son team of Joseph Lally and Joe, Jr. who were producing about $11 million at UBS in Los Angeles, joined First Republic’s Century City office six weeks ago. Last year, $6-million UBS producer Steven H. Levine left a UBS branch in Los Angeles for the First Republic outpost.”
Doing a little math, it looks like UBS has lost better than $2B in client assets and nearly $22M in annual production, just to First Republic in LA. Ouch!! (**we imagine UBS management may use more colorful language than that).
Teams of scale making the jump to a less traditional rival says a lot about the trajectory of the two firms. Friendlier confines seem to be winning the day as wirehouse advisors flee in droves, protocol issues be damned.
In politics I believe they call that ‘voting with their feet’.