William Blair Builds Wealth, Grabs Multi-Million-Dollar Wirehouse Vets in Boston, New York
(Updates story and headline to add Blair’s hiring of a Merrill Lynch team in New York City.)
Chicago-based William Blair & Co., which has opportunistically been expanding its small wealth management unit into other parts of the U.S., has quietly landed seasoned teams from UBS Financial Services in Boston and from Merrill Lynch in New York.
James Devins III and Joseph Roberts, who respectively have been registered brokers for 35 and 42 years, jumped from UBS in Boston to Blair’s outpost there in late May, Blair spokesman Tony Zimmer confirmed.
Earlier in May, Blair recruited Chris Rosamond and Arthur Paterson from a midtown New York City branch of Merrill Lynch, where they had spent 17 and 13 years respectively and managed more than $200 million of customer assets.
Blair, a middle-market investment banking and asset management firm, employs just over 100 brokers managing $26.4 billion in customer assets at four retail brokerage offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and New York, Zimmer said.
The firm has been selectively luring sizable teams from competitors and recently upgraded its advisory platform, said Louis Diamond, a recruiter at New Jersey-based Diamond Consultants.
Devins and Roberts, who sources said produced around $3 million in their last 12 months at UBS, did not return calls for comment on their decision. One of their former team members, Nicholas B. Petri, remains at UBS in Boston.
In New York, Rosamond and Paterson joined Blair’s 666 Fifth Avenue office from Merrill’s nearby branch at 200 Park Avenue along with a client management associate. They were lifetime Merrill brokers who went through the firm’s training program.
“They were among the best that came out that program,” said Joe Mattia, a former manager of the office who himself left Merrill in 2008 after 17 years and is now a recruiter in New Canaan, Conn. He said he was not involved in Rosamond and Paterson’s move.
The brokers did not immediately return a call for comment.
Devins and Roberts, like Rosamond and Paterson, have strong local roots, having spent a significant part of their careers at the former Boston-based regional brokerage Tucker Anthony Inc. Roberts was first licensed as a broker at the firm, which was ultimately absorbed into Royal Bank of Canada’s U.S. wealth operations, in 1974 and stayed there for 27 years. Devins joined Tucker Anthony in 1986 three years after becoming licensed.
In addition to expanding in Boston and New York, Blair opened a private wealth office in January 2016 with a team from Credit Suisse’s now defunct U.S. brokerage unit, and in April 2017 hired a trio of advisors in New York CIty from Fieldpoint Private Advisors. The New York brokers—Jill Harvey Richard Arkwright and Bernadette Eliassen—were managing around $350 million of client assets, Blair said in a news release.