Unfazed by Scandal, Bicoastal Team Jumps to Wells Fargo from Morgan Stanley
Two brokerage teams that collectively managed $840 million for Morgan Stanley customers left the fold this month to join competitors, a sign that recruiting battles among the wirehouses remain intense.
The larger group comprised of advisors Michael Dechiario, Dean Vetsikas and Stacy Robinson in Philadelphia, Pa., and its suburbs and Thomas Charmley and Thomas Soden in the Marin County, Calif, city of San Rafael joined Wells Fargo Advisors private client group. They oversaw about $600 million in their individual Morgan Stanley practices.
Charmley concedes that the timing of the move could have been better given Wells Fargo’s disclosure on September 8 that it will pay $185 million to bank, municipal and state regulators to settle charges that its employees created thousands of bank and credit card accounts without permission of retail banking customers in order to meet sales goals and collect bonuses. The settlement set off a storm of bipartisan political attack for fostering a hyper-competitive cross-marketing sales culture among its businesses.
“We’ve had to address it, but I don’t think it’s mattering much,” Charmley said of his team’s efforts to persuade clients to move their investment accounts to Wells. “It’s another three minutes of conversation.”
All members of the group except Robinson joined Morgan Stanley in 2009 by way of its acquisition of Citigroup’s Smith Barney brokerage business. Robinson, a 24-year industry veteran, had joined Morgan Stanley in 1998, according to her BrokerCheck history.
In West Palm Beach, Fla., Morgan Stanley lost advisor Brad Weinman to Merrill Lynch, according to a Merrill press release. Weinman, a 26-year brokerage veteran, managed $240 million in assets and generated around $1.8 million in annual revenue, Merrill said.
Weinman had been with Morgan Stanley since 2006, and also had worked at Prudential Securities, PaineWebber and Salomon Smith Barney.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed the departures but declined to comment further.