Rich Jaffe, ex-Credit Suisse Executive, Takes High-Net-Worth Post at Wells
Richard S. Jaffe, who ran national sales at Credit Suisse’s U.S. brokerage unit before it was shuttered earlier this year, has resurfaced as head of “high-net-worth client strategy” at Wells Fargo Advisors.
Jaffe (pronounced Ja-FAY) appears to be the highest-ranked Credit Suisse emigre to accept a post at Wells, which absorbed about 110 of the Swiss bank’s 336 advisors, a tad ahead of the 101 who went UBS AG’s Wealth Management Americas unit. Credit Suisse had given Wells preferential treatment in hiring its U.S. brokers, and has pressed a raiding claim against UBS for allegedly interfering in its goal of recruiting the upper-echelon Credit Suisse advisors.
Jaffe, who ran Credit Suisse’s Middle Atlantic region in addition to serving as head of its “Private Banking North America” brokerage unit, is working out of St. Louis-based Wells Advisors’ Radnor, Pa, branch, according to his BrokerCheck record and to two Wells employees. Sixteen of the Radnor branch’s 30 advisors are Credit Suisse alumni who arrived in the first half of the year, according to the branch website and to BrokerCheck records. Another handful of Credit Suisse brokers are at a nearby Wells branch in Philadelphia.
Jaffe took his new post early this month after a garden leave that allowed him to collect Credit Suisse deferred pay and other benefits in addition to what Wells was offering, according to two people familiar with his journey.
He did not immediately return a call for comment on his new high-net-worth strategy role, which appears to be a new position. His appointment puts him in a sensitive role at a sensitive time for Wells, which agreed to a $185 million settlement two weeks ago over a cross-marketing scandal that exposed an alleged high-pressure corporate sales culture.
Although the alleged illegal activities occurred at at the company’s consumer banking branches, Wells has boasted that its brokers and private bankers cross-market more products and services to customers than any other division. It unveiled a high-net-worth partnership referral bonus in 2010 for households with $5 million or more, and .
Jaffe must also steer a politically sensitive course since Wells has several advisory channels aimed at the wealthy. The Private Client Group of brokerage branches where he resides services some 70,000 high-net-worth relationships and $40 billion of assets from clients who keep $5 million or more at the broker and Wells’ private bank, according to a presentation executives made at conference in May. Wells services another 600 “ultra-high-net-worth” individuals and family offices through its Abbot Downing unit, which holds about $40 billion of client assets.
A Wells spokeswoman did not return calls for comment on Jaffe and his new position.