Wire Wars: UBS Loses $3-Mln Broker to Morgan Stanley, Hires Merrill Trio in TX
The wirehouse recruiting merry-go-round continues to spin, with UBS losing a broker to Morgan Stanley in New Jersey while hiring three advisors from Merrill Lynch in Texas.
Mack, who began his brokerage career in 1998 at Morgan Stanley predecessor Dean Witter, said he had contemplated going independent but ultimately opted to retain big-name branding and equity research of a wirehouse.
“Having the big name firm behind you makes the client feel a little better,” said Mack, who switched on January 8 with client associates Jillian Greene and Candi Weinrick. “From a client perspective and my own, staying in the wirehouses is a good thing,” he said.
He said he was impressed with Morgan Stanley’s online client portal, its Salesforce client relationship management software and the firm’s willingness to enroll Greene in its financial advisor training program so she could become a partner in the practice. UBS was “very slow” in responding to his and Greene’s requests to train her further, he said.
Mack’s former partner, Akshay Javeri, retired last month at age 68 after 33 years in the industry.
A UBS spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Swiss-bank owned U.S. wealth firm on Tuesday waved its recruiting flag by announcing the arrival of the three Merrill brokers in Houston.
They are Joseph P. Zurfley, who had been a producing manager at Merrill and who is an assistant South Texas market head at UBS. Also moving in mid-December were Dale Heysse and Jason Valentz, who have 16 and 13 years of brokerage experience, respectively, and are based in Sugar Land. Heysse had been with Merrill for six years and Valentz for 13 years.
Zurfley, who began his brokerage career at Northwestern Mutual in Ohio 13 years ago, had been with Merrill for three-and-a-half years. He also worked at JPMorgan, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab & Co. during his peripatetic career, according to BrokerCheck.
The brokers could not immediately be reached for comment.
Both Morgan Stanley and UBS exited the Protocol for Broker Recruiting in 2017, when they retreated from veteran broker hiring. The firms began wading back into recruiting in the past 18 months, with UBS angling primarily for recruits from private banks.
“We’re committed to being the firm of choice for best-in-class advisors, and Joseph, Dale and Jason exhibit the character needed to go above and beyond for clients,” UBS South Texas market head Craig Vandegrift said in a prepared statement.