Wells Fargo Snatches Large UBS Team in California; WF Making Up Recruiting Ground

It seems exiting the broker protocol isn’t as effective a deterrent for brokers leaving the Swiss bank as its executives had hoped. When cast against irrational compensation grid adjustments and ‘at the high’ competitor recruiting offers – that policy is nothing more than a nuisance rectified by a properly placed legal fee.

Case in point, per recruiter reports, a large UBS team (that’s only been there since 2014 – meaning they’ve still got money left on the table from their original UBS deal; let that sink in) just migrated to Wells Fargo in California:

“Joseph Seidler and Gary Cattich left the private wealth unit to join a high-end client group that Wells established about a year ago. The San Francisco-based advisors generated $5.3 million in revenue for UBS in the previous 12 months with nearly a billion in client assets.”

“The brokers have worked together for 14 years, joining UBS in 2014.”

Seidler or Cattich couldn’t be reached for comment, and as expected, UBS was disinterested in commenting about the duo leaving the mothership.

The most interesting dynamic here, and it speaks to the serious leadership issues at UBS WMA, is brokers bailing on the firm with 2, 3, even 4 years left on their recruiting contracts.

UBS advisors would rather hire counsel, engage in a legal battle (while simultaneously moving their entire book of business) and reduce their new deal with their new firm by a significant chunk of dough in what will probably amount to a settlement reached between competing counsel at UBS and their hired hands.

In other words, financial advisors (say that again), are willing to eschew dollars owed to them if they simply remain in their seats. Instead, they’d rather opt for the costs of a legal battle and giving money back to the firm that they are walking away from. It’s the equivalent of advising a client to cash in a 401(k) policy early and accept the consequences of the early withdrawal penalty. Something a financial advisor would never do, unless the client was under incredible and imminent financial stress.


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