Rockefeller Nabs $900-Mln Merrill Team in CA, Two from UBS in TX and AZ
(Story updated in sixth paragraph to correct number of teams and advisors at Rockefeller.)
Rockefeller Capital Management oiled its recruiting engine ahead of the Labor Day weekend, landing a $900 million-asset team in northern California from Merrill Lynch on Friday and two UBS teams in Houston, Texas and Scottsdale, Arizona.
The headliner team includes three lifetime Merrill Lynch advisors in Oakland, California, who are opening the first office for the expanding Rockefeller franchise in nearby Walnut Creek. The trio is led by Robert J. Fink, and includes fellow brokers Donny Chu and John F. McMahon, Jr., and two team associates, according to a Rockefeller spokeswoman who confirmed the assets under management of the three new teams.
Their new office is part of Rockefeller’s northwest division, which is led by Brian Riley, a former Merrill Lynch private wealth manager who joined the New York-based company in April. Riley in June recruited the wife-and-husband team of Ann Wang and Jamie Durrani from Merrill to Rockefeller’s fledgling San Francisco office.
Rockefeller is headed by former Merrill president and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management head Greg Fleming, who has targeted primarily wirehouse brokers and managers to expand the wealth management business of the erstwhile family office of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller.
Since his arrival two-and-a-half years ago, Fleming has added 38 private wealth teams and 80 advisors, including the three teams hired on Friday. He initially targeted top-quintile advisors, offering some of them equity in the firm, which is backed by private equity investor Viking Global Management. Those deals have faded, according to several headhunters and sources, but Rockefeller continues to offer competitive signing arrangements that can reach 200% of trailing 12-month revenue at the upper levels, they said.
In addition to the Fink group, Rockefeller on Friday hired the five-person, three-broker team in Houston that was managing about $600 million of client assets and the three-broker team in Scottsdale managing about $300 million. Both had been with UBS Wealth Management.
The Texas team is led by Francis Amsler and Marc Laborde, and also includes broker Christopher Bowman and two team associates. Amsler’s 26-year brokerage career included 13 years at Merrill prior to his arrival at UBS in 2008, according to his BrokerCheck history. Laborde had been with UBS since 2008, following two years at Merrill.
They are the third private wealth group in Rockefeller’s Houston branch, which reports to the firm’s central division head Michael Armondo. He joined Rockefeller last year after 25 years with Merrill in Dallas.
The new Scottsdale team is led by Jason Zilveti, who had been with UBS for more than 12 years of his 16-year career as a registered rep. He joined with Ryan Papez, who first registered as a broker five years ago in Scottsdale with UBS, and Frances Miranda, a wealth associate who began her brokerage career with Morgan Stanley 16 years ago and had been with UBS for more than 11 years, according to their BrokerCheck records.
The Arizona team reports to Nathan Crair, Rockefeller’s Los Angeles-based southwest division director who joined Rockefeller last summer after almost 15 years at Merrill.
Rockefeller has hired 23 teams in 2020, and Private Wealth division president Chris Randozzo expects to grow the advisor force to between 100 and 200 over the next four to seven years, a spokeswoman said.