Wells Fargo Advisors Int’l Exits Surpass Three-Quarter Mark As Deadline Approaches
Wells Fargo Advisors is on track to meet the parent bank’s September 30 deadline for shuttering its international wealth business, according to a spokesperson.
“The exit of the international segment is progressing in line with our expectations,” the spokesperson said.
In January, Wells Fargo announced it was abandoning servicing wealthy investors outside the United States as part of its efforts to rein in risk.
A flurry of recruitment activity ensued as the remaining U.S.-based wealth management industry players servicing international players picked off some of Wells’ big producers. Among the big firms interested in the talent were Raymond James Financial, Snowden Lane Partners, Morgan Stanley, UBS Wealth Management USA, and BNY Mellon’s Pershing, according to news reports at the time and three recruiters.
The options, however, are narrowing for the advisors who remain at Wells and handle primarily international clients, according to three recruiters, who asked not to be named.
“Some of them may not be doing enough business to be placed,” one said. The advisors still at Wells never had countless suiters because “international advisors don’t typically have a ton of options,” and now they probably have even fewer, said another recruiter.
Some possible financial incentives exist, however, for those advisors to hang on until the bitter end. They might pick up clients their defecting peers left behind before they too exit, thereby fattening their books, one of the recruiters said.
Also Wells will extend a severance offer for those who don’t leave before the deadline, according to the spokesperson. The severance packages will be based on the guidelines the bank sets for all eligible laid off employees, so they will be based on advisors’ years of service and base salaries, rather than their trailing 12 months grid-based payments, the spokesperson said, although she declined to offer any more specifics.
For international clients who remain after the deadline, Wells has established a team to help them move to new advisors. But that team will not be making any explicit recommendations of advisors for the clients, instead it will only help with the transfer of assets, the spokesperson said.