UBS exits protocol for broker recruiting

Wirehouse is the second to dump the industry agreement that was created more than a decade ago to limit lawsuits against brokers when they leave firms

Nov 27, 2017 @ 11:52 am

By Bruce Kelly

UBS Wealth Management Americas said Monday morning it was exiting an industry agreement known as the protocol for broker recruiting, which has made it easier for brokers to change firms. UBS follows the lead of Morgan Stanley, which told its employees at the end of October it would no longer work under the protocol.

UBS employees were informed of the change this morning in an email from Tom Naratil, president Wealth Management Americas.

"As our operating model is more focused on retaining our existing advisers than recruiting to grow our business, UBS will no longer be subject to the protocol effective Friday, December 1," according to the memo. "Our decision to exit the protocol is consistent with our organic growth strategy and the same belief that's driven all of our recent enhancements — that, while we will always look to selectively attract talent to UBS, you are the industry's best, most productive advisers."

(More: Broker protocol for recruiting a boon for clients)

The change in policy at Morgan Stanley had left some of its brokers feeling the firm was turning its back on them, and some UBS advisers may feel the same. About 1,500 firms are part of the agreement, which was created more than a decade ago to limit lawsuits against brokers when they left firms.

With close to 7,000 advisers, UBS said in 2016 it was pulling back on recruiting and focusing instead on the retention of advisers.

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