ON THE MOVE-Washington Wealth lands Morgan Stanley manager

Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:12am EST

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Washington Wealth Management LLC, an independent advisory firm that has expanded by luring brokers away from top U.S. brokerages, said on Thursday it had hired a veteran manager from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

David Richman, a former Southern California-based complex manager at Morgan Stanley, joined Washington Wealth on Wednesday after about 17 years at his old firm. In his new role, Richman will lead Washington Wealth's efforts to expand the firm's presence in the region.

"He's one of the best in the business at retaining advisers and helping them to grow their businesses," said Washington Wealth Chief Executive Officer Rob Bartenstein in an interview.

A complex manager like Richman typically oversees 70 to 100 advisers in multiple branch offices.

Bartenstein, who had also previously worked at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the brokerage majority owned by Morgan Stanley and partially owned by Citigroup, said Richman's reputation in the region would help to attract advisers.

"That's a big reason why he's with us today," he said. "We're singularly focused on working with people that we know and trust."

Christy Jockle, a spokeswoman at Morgan Stanley, declined to comment on Richman's departure.

At Washington Wealth, Richman will be in charge of recruiting and overseeing advisers in the Southern California region. He will be based out of the firm's office in Woodland Hills, in the Los Angeles area.

Washington Wealth said it plans to open at least three new offices in Southern California over the next 12 to 18 months.

San Diego-based Washington Wealth has marketed itself as an opportunity for financial advisers to break away from traditional wirehouse relationships and cultures found at larger banks. Advisers who join Washington Wealth receive a higher percentage of the fees and commissions they earn, compared with what is typically offered at most big firms.

In October, Washington Wealth joined LPL Financial LLC, the largest U.S. independent broker-dealer by revenue. The move came as the firm looked to expand its adviser footprint and asset base across the country.

Washington Wealth said earlier this month it added two veteran teams that manage more than $300 million in client assets.

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