Morgan Stanley Recruiting Streak Continues with UBS Hires in Florida
Morgan Stanley’s aggressive recruiting streak continued on Friday as it hired two UBS Wealth Management USA brokers with about $1.3 million in production apiece.
Their move follows a frenetic week in which Morgan Stanleey added dozens of brokers and support staff from Merrill Lynch and UBS who were overseeing more than $5 billion in assets, according to sources.
Morgan Stanley retreated from recruiting experienced advisors three years ago (while trying to protect against broker attrition by leaving the Protocol for Broker Recruiting), but reversed the hiring halt this year and considers its “net recruiting” numbers an important metric, company Chief Financial Officer Jon Pruzan said last week.
UBS also exited the Protocol for Broker Recruiting at the end of 2017 and dimmed its recruiting ambitions as it sought to work down more than $3 billion of forgivable recruiting loans on its parent bank’s balance sheet.
In the past year, it has selectively returned to hiring experienced brokers, though many are coming from private banks rather than from traditional brokerage firm rivals, recruiters say. Private banks generally compensate advisors with salaries and bonuses as opposed to the eat-what-you-kill revenue-based payouts that brokers earn.
Kontoyiannis and Clancy, who left UBS Friday after 17 and 10 years, respectively, could not immediately be reached for comment on the motivation for their wirehouse-to-wirehousee move.
A spokeswoman at Morgan Stanley confirmed the hires but declined to comment on the brokers’ production metrics or the sizes of their books of business. Their hires follow changes in management the firm made at its Fort Lauderdale-Aventura area branches last year.
UBS spokespeople did not immediately return requests for comment.
Kontolyannis spent the first two years of his brokerage career at Metlife and New England Securities before shifting to Merrill Lynch in 1997 for a five-year stint and settling in at UBS in February 2003, according to his BrokerCheck record.
Clancy started at J.B. Hanauer & Co. in 1979 and worked at five other firms before joining UBS in July 2010, according to his BrokerCheck history. He has no disclosures on his record, and Kontolyannis has a single customer complaint involving a variable annuity for under $6,000 that was denied.
Morgan Stanley has been active in south Florida after shuffling managers in the region over the past year.
Its recruiting sweep last week included Merrill veterans John Foreman and Austin Cook. They had generated $3.2 million in revenue in the previous 12 months on about $400 million of client assets.
Last September, Morgan Stanley recruited a $1.5 million team of Merrill veterans led by Steve Kaufman and Jeffrey Millikin in Aventura.
In Plantation, FL, in January, Morgan Stanley reached into UBS Wealth Management to hire Brett Goetz, a broker with 26 years’ experience. Goetz produced $960,000 in fees and commissions last year from $100 million in client assets, according to the source.
Morgan Stanley, the largest wirehouse by headcount, ended the second quarter this year with 15,399 advisors, down by 234 from a year ago.