In a move that may not surprise anyone (given the continuing consolidation of advisors inside the JP Morgan ecosystem), we are hearing that JP Morgan Securities is about to bow out of the broker protocol.
Merrill Lynch formally announced a brand new workstation for advisors that have already been rolled out to 5,500 of the thundering herd so far this year. The other 10,000 or so ‘advisors’ (let’s not have the conversation today about Merrill’s actual broker headcount please) underneath the BofA umbrella will have the new system installed over the coming months. While the new workstation has all sorts of bells and whistles and cost BofA nearly $100M in development cash, advisors are worried about one thing and one thing only – the AI inherent in the system and its ability to hear, see, interpret, and control every keystroke, word spoken, and client interaction.
There are rumors swirling within the wealth management world that UBS is about to land a massive Goldman Sachs private banking team. Sources at UBS have passively confirmed the potential move with a wink and a smile via text and signaled that we should keep a sharp eye out for a pending announcement.
Goldman Sachs attempted to reach out to us yesterday in hopes of reducing the interest that our story garnered regarding two individuals that had dealt with differing degrees of sexual harassment at the global investment bank. The denial was both weak and soft and didn’t remotely speak to the veracity of the allegations themselves, but rather to the release of the information and whether or not it was appropriate to leak the nature of ‘sealed agreements’. Saying that again, their response was weak.
Merrill Lynch remains a constant loser in the world of wealth management recruiting. They’ve continued to retreat as rivals like Morgan Stanley, UBS, Wells Fargo, and the likes of Rockefeller and First Republic clean up. When was the last time you saw a meaningful Merrill Lynch recruiting headline announcing the arrival of a new team? Exactly.
Goldman Sachs seems to have a problem on its hands in their wealth division with women that have either been harassed, reported abuse by superiors, or as seems to be the most common complaint, the pressure to ‘cozy up’ when called upon by management. Over the weekend we had an illuminating discussion with two women (one who continues to be employed by the firm, and one who has since left) that both settled claims against their employer. Both discussed the nature of the environment in which they were asked to do things ‘differently’ than make colleagues, and were willing to give us details on the condition of anonymity.
Rockefeller remains a darling firm for larger producers. The elite advisor numbers and tire tread marks that have migrated to the firm in the past year isn’t slowing down, and if anything, is picking up momentum. Geographically, the firm is set to win big in a couple of states that matter to growing wealth management firms: Texas and California.