UBS Loses Two Teams at NJ Branch to Merrill and RBC
Recruiting deals remain in flux as firms parse the DOL fiduciary rule’s recruiting restrictions, but that hasn’t stopped some from crafting deals attractive enough to lure brokers eager to beat end-of-year account transfer deadlines.
UBS Wealth Management Americas’ branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, was the victim of two such deals in the past two weeks.
RBC Capital Markets’ U.S. wealth management arm on Tuesday lured 24-year industry veteran David DePaul and his assistant Carolyn Bambaci to its Florham Park branch while Merrill Lynch a week earlier reeled in Joel S. Taylor, who began his career 29 years ago at Thomson Mckinnon Securities, to its Bridgewater, N.J., branch.
RBC also nabbed a four-broker team from Merrill outside San Francisco on Friday that booked $2.2 million of fees and commissions in the past 12 months on some $230 million of client-managed assets.
Branding themselves as RBC’s East Bay Wealth Management Group in Walnut Creek, the team includes the father-son team of David and Zach Persin, Ted Simos, Kim Beatty and sales associates Amber Strock and Joan Strom, an RBC spokeswoman said.
The elder Persin, who has a law degree, had been with Merrill’s Pleasanton, Calif., office since 1997, according to his team’s former Merrill Lynch website.
On the plus side for Merrill, Taylor jumped last week after more than 7 years at UBS. A Merrill spokeswoman confirmed his arrival but neither she nor Taylor—who did a previous stint at Merrill from 1999 through 2004—returned calls for comment as to the size of his team and production.
At RBC’s Florham Park office, DePaul said he hopes to maintain the largely transactional fixed-income practice he has developed with small financial institutions over his eight years at UBS and another eight previously at Morgan Stanley and its Smith Barney predecessor. He booked about $1 million of production in the past 12 months and had $312 million of assets under administration at UBS, RBC said in a news release.
“I wanted a smaller firm with a culture that catered better to my credit union business,” DePaul said in a phone interview two days ago.
UBS, like many of its competitors, has been nudging brokers with sticks and carrots to do more fee-based business. That is not conducive to the trades DePaul coordinates for his credit union clients whose assets range from $10 million to $400 million, he said.
While he said he had a good relationship with UBS’s trading desk, he was attracted by the mix of more personal attention and the equally strong corporate bond inventory that RBC boasts. (RBC attracted a team of Stifel Nicolaus muni bond-oriented brokers who cited similar qualities when they moved to its Parsippany, NJ, branch earlier this year.) DePaul also lamented UBS’s tightening controls over email and other client communications that he says don’t appear quite as constrictive at RBC.
A UBS spokesman and managers at Florham Park branch did not respond to requests for comment on the departures.