UBS Nabs $4.7-Mln Merrill Trio, BofA Private Bank Team on West Coast
UBS has hired a traditional brokerage team from Merrill Lynch and a private banking group from Bank of America in another sign of its dual bank-and-brokerage hiring strategy.
The team in Roseville, led by brokers Jason Arnold, Tom Mulvaney and George Chuchas, left Merrill for UBS Wealth Management USA on Friday, according to registration records. Arnold, who was a resident director at Merrill since 2006, will serve as branch manager of UBS’s Roseville office, reporting to Northern California market head Erin Borger, the source said.
Arnold, who ranked 86th on Forbes’ “Best-in-State” wealth advisor list in 2021, could not be reached for comment. He spent a rookie year with WFP Securities in 2001 before joining Merrill the following year, according to his BrokerCheck. In 2004, he moved to Banc of America Investment Services, a consumer banking unit that combined with Merrill after 2009, according to his BrokerCheck.
Mulvaney, a 27-year industry veteran, started his brokerage career in 1993 with Lincoln Financial Advisors. He left in 1996 for stints at Brecek & Young Advisors and Griffin Financial Services before joining BA Investment Services/Banc of America Investment Services in 1997, according to the database.
Chuchas was a registered representative with Banc of America Investment Services from 2006 to 2009 and worked as a financial center manager at Bank of America from 2009 to 2015, during which time his broker license had lapsed, according to his BrokerCheck and LinkedIn profile. He re-registered as a broker in 2016 with Merrill, according to the registration database.
The BofA Private Bank (formerly known as U.S. Trust) group, which includes brokers Amanda Woo and Nancy Barrett and portfolio manager Michelle Harvey, joined UBS Private Wealth Management on Wednesday and will also report to Borger, according to the source, who said the team is “one of the largest” in the Bay Area.
A UBS spokesman declined to provide figures on assets and production for the teams. A Merrill spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.
Woo, a 25-year industry veteran, started as a personal banking officer with Wells Fargo in 1996 and first registered as a broker in 1998 with BA Investment Services/Banc of America Investment Services, according to her BrokerCheck and LinkedIn profile. She also registered with Merrill in 2009 when it was purchased by Bank of America.
Woo, joining as a senior vice president with UBS, according to her LinkedIn, could not be reached for comment.
Barrett first registered as a broker with Scudder Investor Services from 1990 to 1992, re-registered in 2006 with AllianceBernstein before joining Merrill in 2010, according to her BrokerCheck and LinkedIn profile. She’s joining UBS as a managing director, according to her LinkedIn profile, which said she had worked in business development roles at Thomson Financial Services and Standard & Poor’s between 1997 and 2006.
Harvey, who is not a registered broker, was most recently a senior portfolio manager at BofA’s private bank, where she had worked since 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile. She previously worked at Morgan Stanley from 2003 to 2004, when she joined Wells Fargo Private Bank, where she served in numerous roles culminating in investment strategist. She is joining UBS as a senior vice president, her LinkedIn profile said.
UBS’s recent focus on private bankers, during which it has drawn heavily from J.P. Morgan Private Bank, represents a new recruiting strategy for a traditional brokerage firm, as most have shied away from hiring bankers. Historically, brokerages are deterred by bank advisors’ restrictive garden-leave policies and their customers’ strong ties to the bank, which make it challenging to transfer client assets.
Merrill Lynch last month made a big private bank hire of its own, nabbing William R. “Bill” Butler, who a source said was generating $55 million in annual revenue from $17 billion in client assets at Citi in San Francisco. The week before, a senior Merrill executive had said that the company planned to selectively hire veteran brokers in key markets including San Francisco and Florida, signaling to some recruiters a return to the recruiting fray after a three-year retrenchment.