Wire Wars: Wells Hires Merrill Duos with Combined $4.5-Mln in TX, CA
Two Merrill Lynch teams, including a southeastern Texas duo producing $3 million in annual revenue and another $1.5-million group in Newport Beach, California, swapped jerseys last week to join Wells Fargo Advisors.
Neither returned a call for comment at their Wells Fargo branch.
Davis had started his brokerage career with Merrill Lynch in 2003 and left for UBS in 2008 but returned in 2014, according to his BrokerCheck. McGallion, who had started his career with Edward Jones in 2002, followed the same path as Davis upon joining Merrill in 2003, according to the database.
In California, Chien Nguyen and Danny Nguyen, who are not related but jointly manage $250 million in client assets, moved on Wednesday to a new office in the same Newport Beach building, according to the Wells spokeswoman and BrokerCheck. Neither returned a request for comment on their switch.
Chien Nguyen, a 22-year industry veteran, started his career in 1998 with Wells Fargo Securities, moved to WM Financial Securities in 2001 and rejoined Wells through Wells Fargo Investments in 2005, according to his BrokerCheck. He moved over to Wells Fargo Advisors in 2011 but left for Merrill the following year, the database said.
Danny Nguyen started his brokerage career in 2011 with Wells Fargo Advisors, where he worked as a regional private banker, and moved to Merrill in 2015, according to his BrokerCheck and LinkedIn profile.
A Merrill spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on the moves.
Merrill Lynch, which has recently lost several high-producing teams in Texas and California, last month notched a big private bank hire with 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.
A senior Merrill executive previously said that the company planned to selectively hire veteran brokers in key markets including San Francisco and Florida, signaling to some recruiters a possible return to the veteran broker recruiting fray after a three-year hiatus.
Wells, meanwhile, has been aggressive in looking to replenish its advisor ranks that were depleted in the wake of the bank’s fake accounts scandal in 2016. The firm’s broker headcount dropped 2% over the first three months of the year to 13,277, continuing its long-running decline from more than 15,000 four years ago. The company said its effort to hire more productive advisors was paying off and most of the exits are planned retirements or underperformers.
In addition to the Merrill hires, Wells added Mark C. Smith, a 15-year industry veteran in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, who joined the firm from UBS on May 3, according to BrokerCheck. Smith, who started his career in 2005 with Lord, Abbett & Co. and joined UBS in 2007, according to the database, had generated $920,000 in annual revenue from $66 million in client assets, the Wells spokeswoman said.