Wells Fargo binges on Morgan Stanley recruits

Since June, the firm has snatched nearly $1.4 billion in assets from rival wirehouse, according to moves tracked by InvestmentNews

Aug 21, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

By Mason Braswell

This summer, Wells Fargo Advisors has made a name for itself as a hot destination for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management advisers looking to jump ship.

The recent addition of a former Morgan Stanley duo with $348 million in client assets pushes the total assets Wells Fargo has recruited from Morgan Stanley to nearly $1.4 billion in the past three months alone, according to InvestmentNews' Advisers on the Move database, which tracks moves reported by the firms. Those assets come from 10 advisers who have moved since June.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley, which is the largest firm by head count and has around 16,300 advisers, brought in around $110 million from a former Wells Fargo Advisor, according to the database. Morgan Stanley recruited heavily from rival firms, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS Wealth Management Americas, and J.P. Morgan Securities.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman, Christine Jockle, declined to comment.

(See all of Wells Fargo's hires this year)

As a caveat, not all teams make their moves public when they change firms, so the numbers in the database may not be an accurate representation of the full scale of recruiting. The numbers also fluctuate seasonally and are may not be indicative of an overall trend.

The most recent Morgan Stanley advisers to sign on were the team of Alison Scavone and William “Hayden” Bates, who joined Wells Fargo on Aug. 15 in the Westport, Conn., office.

“The addition of this recent team demonstrates that Wells Fargo Advisors continues to be the firm of choice for successful and experienced financial advisers,” said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Emily Acquisito.

Ms. Scavone and Mr. Bates had been with Morgan Stanley since 2007 and were previously at Citigroup Global Markets Inc., according to Finra records. Ms. Scavone began her career at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc. in 1981. Mr. Bates began his career in 2006, Finra records show.

(See who's left Morgan Stanley this year)

Wells Fargo has around 15,300 advisers, approximately 11,000 of whom are in the firm's employee brokerage channel. Most of the rest comprise the firm's independent division, Wells Fargo Financial Network.

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