| March 15
March 15 UBS AG's Wealth
Management Americas has landed two veteran adviser teams that
together managed more than $2.4 billion in client assets at
rival brokerage Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
The two teams, formerly based out of Morgan Stanley's
Aventura, Florida office, are the latest major departures from
the largest U.S. brokerage, which last year lost several top
adviser teams to rivals in the wake of frustrations with the
firm's technology platform and cultural differences with senior
Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the departures.
The defections also weigh on the firm's Aventura office in
particular, which lost three veteran advisers who managed $423
million in client assets to UBS in November.
That brings total losses from the branch to nearly $3 billion in
client assets managed by seven departing advisers in just five
"Anytime there is an exodus like that, it often times
creates momentum and simultaneous fear of being the last one to
turn off the lights," said California-based financial services
recruiter Ron Edde of Millennium Career Advisors of the
The advisers who moved include Allan Yarkin and Hank Boyce
of the Florida Corporate Services Group at Morgan Stanley.
Yarkin and his team managed roughly $1.75 billion in client
assets, according to a 2012 Barron's ranking.
Yarkin, who has worked in the advising industry for more
than three decades, was a managing director and family wealth
director at Morgan Stanley. He was named to the firm's
Director's Council, a group of the top 5 percent of advisers at
the firm, which includes many top-ranking Morgan Stanley
Boyce, who has also been an adviser for more than three
decades, was a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley. He and
Yarkin moved to UBS on Feb. 27, according to regulatory filings.
Also on the move, advisers Seth Ripple and Leonard Suskind
joined UBS's Aventura office from Morgan Stanley, where they
managed $679 million in client assets, according to the Barron's
Calls to the UBS office in Aventura confirmed that all four
Suskind, who was a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley,
had been with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and its
predecessor firms for three decades. Ripple was a first vice
president and has been with his old firm for two decades.
Suskind and Ripple also moved to UBS on Feb. 27.
TALLYING THE DEPARTURES
Since Jan. 1, Morgan Stanley has lost at least 45 veteran
advisers who managed more than $7.2 billion in client assets,
based on moves tracked by Reuters. In 2012, they lost at least
243 advisers who managed nearly $40 billion in client assets.
Reuters tracks the moves of individual advisers or teams that
manage around $100 million or more in client assets, which
typically translates to $1 million or more in annual revenue
By that same count, Morgan Stanley has added at least 19
advisers who managed $2.3 billion in client assets - roughly a
third of the assets it lost. UBS has lost at least 12 veteran
advisers who managed roughly $1.4 billion in client assets at
the firm, but gained at least 16 advisers who managed about $4.4
billion in client assets.
The defection of veteran teams, like Yarkin's, can be
particularly big losses for brokerages, which rely on their
client assets to generate revenue for the firm. It can take
decades to build a book of that size, industry experts say.
With these latest departures, Morgan Stanley has lost at
least nine teams that each managed $1 billion or more in client
assets in the past 17 months since Reuters began tracking
veteran adviser moves.
UBS Wealth Management Americas, the U.S. brokerage unit
owned by the Swiss bank UBS AG, is the fourth-largest U.S.
brokerage by client assets. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management,
majority owned by Morgan Stanley and partially owned by
Citigroup, ranks first.
The two firms often vie for the same pool of veteran
advisers, along with Bank of America Corp's Merrill
Lynch and Wells Fargo & Co's Wells Fargo Advisors.