First Republic snags another Wall Street veteran, this time from J.P. Morgan

Michael S. Lee will run the New York territory for First Republic's wealth management business

Mar 13, 2019 @ 1:52 pm

By Bruce Kelly

First Republic Private Wealth Management has hired Michael S. Lee, who ran J.P. Morgan Securities' prominent Midtown Manhattan branch, to run its New York office, according to two sources with knowledge of the move.

Mr. Lee was a prominent branch manager in Manhattan at Smith Barney before leaving that firm in 2009 to start working at J.P. Morgan.

Currently on leave, Mr. Lee will not join First Republic for at least a couple of months, one source said. His title at First Republic will be managing director and regional business leader, and he will, in essence, be in charge of the New York territory for the bank's wealth management group.

"His hiring is intended to help the growth of the business," said one of the sources, who did not want to be identified. "It's more support for the financial advisers."

J.P. Morgan Securities midtown office has at least 100 reps and financial advisers, according to another source.

Mr. Lee is just the latest in a series of high-profile hires by First Republic, which has been aggressively recruiting financial advisers for more than two years.

For example, in February First Republic Bank said it had hired four high producing advisers in New York from Wells Fargo Advisors. Led by George Fuchs and David Schulman, those advisers manage $1.5 billion in client assets.

A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan, Kaitlin Finnerty, did not return calls on Wednesday to comment. A spokesman for First Republic, Greg Berardi, declined to comment.

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