Rockefeller Snatches $9.2-Mln UBS Beantown Team
Rockefeller Capital Management on Friday continued its aggressive targeting of veteran wirehouse teams and hired a five-person group from UBS Private Wealth Management in Boston, according to an announcement.
The three brokers did not return a call for comment Monday at their new Beantown branch.
The team also includes analysts Jennifer Pearson and Sophia Morgan and will report to Michael Parker, a former recruiting executive at Hightower Advisors and RBC Wealth Management-U.S. who heads Rockefeller’s Northeast division.
They are the 53rd team to join Rockefeller since its 2018 recapitalization with venture capital funding and follow Chief Executive Greg Fleming’s remarks earlier this month that it was targeting Boston and 10 or 20 other cities as it looks to potentially double its wealth management footprint over the next five years. The company had a family office practice working with $25 million-plus clients but no traditional private wealth brokerage teams in the city, according to its website.
The elder Knowlton, a 35-year industry veteran, had been with UBS since 1995, according to his BrokerCheck report. He began his career with Lehman Brothers in 1985 and moved to Kidder, Peabody & Co. in 1993.
His BrokerCheck shows one recent customer dispute. In 2018, a client claim over alleged unsuitable investments in Puerto Rican municipal bonds dating back to 2013 settled for $70,000 of $988,000 requested. UBS has faced billions in customer claims since the island’s 2013 debt crisis.
The younger Knowlton, who ranked 479th on Forbes’ 2020 “America’s Next Gen Advisors” list, entered the industry in 2010 with UBS, according to his BrokerCheck.
Larsen, who like the elder Knowlton was a managing director at UBS, joined the wirehouse in 2008 from Morgan Stanley, according to his BrokerCheck. He began his career in 1998 with Fidelity Brokerage Services, Inc. and moved to Goldman Sachs in 2000 before joining Morgan Stanley in 2002. He had been named to UBS’s Chairman’s Counsel–the second-highest of the firm’s four council levels–“for many years” and served on the company’s Alternative Assets Committee, according to his former firm biography.
“Rockefeller has been built as a modern firm with a distinctive approach to helping clients achieve their unique aspirations,” Larsen said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to delivering the firm’s differentiated investment program and integrated family office services capabilities to our clients.”
Rockefeller last month scored another sizable hire from UBS, with the addition of a San Antonio, Texas team producing $3.8 million a year from $630 million in client assets.
Rockefeller is a signatory to the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, which allows brokers to solicit their former clients when moving among signatory firms. UBS exited the pact in 2017 following a retreat from veteran broker recruiting in 2016. Both firms must be a signatory to the agreement for its legal protections to apply.
A UBS spokeswoman declined to comment.