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Fieldpoint Private has remained an enigma in the wealth management world over the past five years. Loaded with former ‘name’ executives from wirehouses you’d think they would have accumulated significantly for recruiting wins and scale than they actually have. That hasn’t been the case.

Last month they announced the hiring of a private banking team from BofA. The headline was flashy and the asset number was north of $1.2B. Good for them. But as any good manager knows, the asset transfer is all that matters. Period. If you land a high profile team and they flop during their transition – you could be out of a job. (Given that Fieldpoint opened a new office in FL for this team, ouch).

What we’ve heard from two sources, one of them at Fieldpoint, is that the asset transfer process one month in, has been a disappointment. Without giving out actual numbers, so far the team is well below transferring 30% of assets from BofA. That is a threshold that is customarily met within the first two weeks of a ‘good’ transition.

“The pictures and the narrative were great, but so far so ‘not’ good. Some of us had reservations about bringing on a somewhat non-traditional private banking team, and it looks like those concerns were warranted. Clients are pretty tethered to the bank (BofA) and they’ve been harder to extract then what the team believed.” – a contact at Fieldpoint Private.

“It isn’t going well, at all – the transition. You often see this with private banking teams coming from large IB’s or traditional behemoths like BofA. Clients are so entrenched with proprietary products and loans that pulling them away is much more complicated than it looks on the surface. I’m sure Fieldpoint will keep pouring resources into this team and their success – but it hasn’t gone well, or to plan, so far.” – recruiter familiar with Fieldpoint in Florida.

This is the ugly underbelly of recruiting that doesn’t make it to the headlines. When a team *potentially flops the ROI on the deal that they received begins to become an albatross around the firms and managers neck. Their P&L is potentially wrecked for years to come – and ultimately someone gets fired.

The script is yet to be finished with the team (Marc Angle, Stacey Cole and Johnny Gibson, with client associate Tara Pioli) that left BofA for what seemed to be greener pastures at Fieldpoint. But the early returns are concerning.

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