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Wells Fargo Loses Reps to Raymond James, Steward Partners, Baird

May 9, 2018

Wells Fargo’s financial advisors continue fleeing in droves as the company’s wealth management units are under regulatory scrutiny over its sales practices. Most recently, the company lost several veteran representatives collectively managing well over $1 billion to Steward Partners, Raymond James and Baird Private Wealth Management.

David Elwood and Richard Elwood have joined Steward Partners, which is affiliated with Raymond James’ independent channel, ThinkAdvisor writes.

The pair previously oversaw $110 million at Wells Fargo. David Elwood had been in the industry since 1995 and with Wells Fargo since 2009, according to his BrokerCheck profile.

Richard Elwood had been in the industry since 1978 and with Wells Fargo since 2009, according to his BrokerCheck profile.

Separately, Donald Simpson, a 37-year veteran of the industry, has joined Raymond James’ Bloomfield Hills, Minn., office, according to AdvisorHub. Simpson’s six-person team had around $2.2 million in annual production on around $300 million in client assets while at Wells Fargo Advisors, the website writes. Simpson had started his financial services career at Wells Fargo predecessor Prudential Securities in 1980, AdvisorHub writes, citing BrokerCheck. And in Macon, Ga. Raymond James picked up Teresa Combs, who had joined Wells Fargo predecessor A.G. Edwards in 2006, according to the website.

Meanwhile, in Tucson, Ariz., Irving Mindes and William Fedor have joined Baird, InvestmentNews writes. Mindes had joined Wells Fargo predecessor A.G. Edwards in 1993, while Fedor started his securities industry career at A.G. Edwards in 1994, according to the publication. The pair managed $566 million at Wells Fargo Advisors, InvestmentNews writes.

Wells Fargo seems to have been consistently shedding advisors ever since the 2016 revelations that employees in its retail banking unit opened millions of bogus credit and debit accounts, even though the wealth management unit mostly avoided regulator scrutiny and controversy for over a year following the $185 million settlement the firm reached with regulators over its banking scandal.

(Getty)

But the rate of advisor departures appears to have accelerated since regulators began probing Wells Fargo’s wealth management units directly earlier this year. Raymond James has been a major recipient of Wells Fargo refugees. Recently Steward Partners picked up the Sedoric Group, which managed more than $350 million, for example. In the last few weeks, Wells Fargo has also lost representatives to Janney Montgomery Scott, UBS, RBC Wealth Management, First Republic Bank and BNY Mellon.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the InvestmentNews article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.
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Tags:  Staffing and recruiting , BNY Mellon , First Republic Bank , Prudential Securities , RBC Wealth Management , Raymond James , Wells Fargo , Wells Fargo Advisors , UBS , Janney Montgomery Scott , Baird

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Ron Edde Chief Exec. Officer, President
Open Registered Member May. 9, 2018 at 03:02 PM EDT

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I hardly think that the number of departures that have happened over the last 20 months or so from Wells Fargo would constitute "fleeing in droves", but they have been significant, so perhaps the author can be excused for succumbing to the temptation to use a bit of hyperbole. That said, Wells is a very strong company and it isn't going anywhere. The recruiting bonuses are fatter there than anywhere else right now, and I'd bet my bottom dollar that most every advisor has at some time encouraged a client to purchase stock in a company whose "stock was down but which had very solid fundamentals." That's Wells Fargo right now, folks. Ron Edde 760-583-4806
Current FA May. 11, 2018 at 04:55 PM EDT

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Mr. Edde, it seems that your opinion might be quite different if their recruiting bonuses weren't so "Fat" as you put it. I believe that it is the "solid fundamentals" and the reputation that are in question. While I do believe that Wells Fargo will be just fine, as an Advisor, my reputation is all that I have and I would not currently attach that to a firm with such flawed controls. There is a reason that those recruiting bonuses are so "fat" right now. I understand your "buying low" analogy, but few people brag about the bad or even risky investment choices they make, until they work out. That is essentially what we would be doing every day until people forgot.