UBS Hires Brokers With $2.4 Million From SunTrust, Fidelity, Merrill
UBS Wealth Management USA continued its campaign to selectively recruit to fill empty seats as it hired three brokers with $2.4 million in production from SunTrust Investment Services, Fidelity Investments and Merrill Lynch.
In Franklin, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, UBS hired Shaun Rowles, who was producing around $1 million in annual revenue and oversaw $157 million in client assets, according to a person familiar with the move.
Rowles, a 17-year broker, had been part of a team called “The Smith Group” led by Trey Smith. The rest of the group remains at SunTrust, a person answering the phone at their office confirmed.
Rowles, who began his brokerage career in February 2002 at Securian Financial Services, did not return a call for comment on his cell phone, and Smith, a 22-year industry veteran, also did not return a call for comment at his SunTrust branch.
After a short stint at Securian, Rowles left to join BB&T investment Services, according to BrokerCheck. He was discharged by the firm in April 2009 after a client alleged he had “altered important documentation” without consent and joined SunTrust Investment Services three months later.
(SunTrust merged last year with regional bank BB&T Corp. to form Truist Financial Corp., although the brokerage entity still operates under the SunTrust name.)
Separately, in Springfield, Mass., Jonathan Williamson, who has spent his entire 19-year brokerage career with Fidelity, left to join UBS on August 12, according to his BrokerCheck record.
Williamson, who has specialized in servicing clients exclusively with $1 million and plus in household assets over the past ten years, was generating $750,000 in trailing-12 production and overseeing $100 million in client assets, according to the source familiar with the moves. He reports to branch manager Gabriel D’Amica, the person said.
Williamson did not respond to a request for comment.
The hires continue a trend of UBS looking outside its wirehouse roots to less-competitive channels as it looks to fill empty seats. It two weeks ago hired Jennifer Lucovich, a million-dollar producer from the brokerage units of BMO Harris Bank. In May, it hired three brokers in Dallas from AllianceBernstein’s Sanford C. Bernstein unit who were producing about $13 million.
“The market is very competitive for top advisors,” said Mindy Diamond, a New Jersey-based recruiter with Diamond Consultants. “If you only go after wirehouse advisors, you’re tapping a limited talent pool.”
At UBS, which has been reviving its hiring efforts after mostly retreating from veteran broker recruiting four years ago, advisor headcount in the Americas fell by about 268 over the past year to 6,410. Officials have said that the declines are part of its strategy of shaving its overhang of recruiting loans while bolstering retention.
And to be sure, UBS is continuing to open its doors to more traditional wirehouse recruits.
Arnoldo Santiago, who was generating $640,000 in annual revenue, joined UBS from Merrill Lynch in San Francisco, according to a memo sent internally on Monday. Santiago, who joined last Friday, will be a producing manager at UBS and work as its assistant market head for Northern California, according to the memo, which was signed by Jennifer Povlitz, West division director at UBS
Santiago, who had spent the past 13 years with the Thundering Herd and been a manager from 2007 to 2008, had been managing around $100 million in client assets.
In his new role, Santiago will help manage the firm’s San Francisco office and will report to UBS Northern California market head, Erin Borger, according to Povlitz’ memo.
Santiago did not respond to a request for comment but said in a prepared statement that he was attracted to the Swiss bank because of its “support system.”
“Jennifer and Erin have a proven track record of supporting leaders with their careers,” he wrote in a prepared statement.
Santiago, who got his start in the securities industry in 1998 at Citigroup Smith Barney, left for Merrill in 2007 where his partner Derek Hawkridge remains, according to Hawkridge’s BrokerCheck report and team page. Hawkridge did not return a call for comment.