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Whether you are an independent advisor, wirehouse advisor, bank broker, or any variation thereof; Wells Fargo wants to offer you a historic deal in the hopes that you will jump at the chance to take it. We’ve been privy to several Wells Fargo offers in the past two weeks and they are aggressive to say the least. Using the perceived opportunity to quickly transfer client assets in the midst of the realities of ‘shelter at home’ policies across the US – Wells Fargo has been more aggressive than anyone in recruiting advisors and deal making within wealth management of late.

We’ve routinely seen deals that press beyond the 335% – 350% number for wirehouse advisors of all sizes. Not just the top tier teams that Wells is chasing, but every wirehouse advisor that they sit in front of at the moment. Bank brokers are negotiating deals that are anywhere between 220% – 250% right now. Numbers that were absolutely unheard of in that channel just 18 months ago. The same aggressiveness is being deployed in their well known independent channel as well.

What is the thought process behind the push to ‘make it rain’ in the recruiting world right now? We spoke to two people in recruiting at Wells Fargo and came away with some answers.

“The timing is critical, and the news cycle is currently our friend, as opposed to an obvious nemesis. Instead of all eyes being focused on potential sins of the past, we can have conversations that are about the here and now, strength of the firms overall balance sheet, and the go forward plans of a shiny new management team.” – said a recruiter at the firm on condition of anonymity.

“Yes there is an obvious push – and it is directly correlated to what we see as an opening in advisors evaluation of this current crisis, the turmoil in the markets… every serious bear market has seen significant advisor movement over the past 30 years, so we’d rather be on the ready rather than chasing the rest of the field. Coming out of this, and whatever that looks like, our management team wants to be aggressive and proactive as is allowed within the industry. Deals are not going to be pulled back in anyway, with the caveat that if things get worse and a deeper recession than what is currently projected arrives, we will keep pressing forward. Opportunity doesn’t always announce itself, it has to be grabbed. We think that is what we are doing right now.” – a complex manager at Wells Fargo on the condition of anonymity.

Getting into the proverbial hive mind of Wells Fargo has been interesting over the past few days. How a bank of scale and one of the worlds largest wealth management organizations is using what looks to most to be a slowdown to pick up their recruiting efforts is compelling. Are they necessarily going against the grain? Maybe, maybe not. But one this is absolutely for sure – they are clearly committed to the path they are on.

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