There’s been so much movement of advisors lately trying to find the best cultural fit for themselves and their clients. We’ve spoken at length about FRB advisors on the move, and now breaking news is that UBS has just landed a $16 million team in NYC led by top in state advisors Michael Bromberg and Daniel Gerschel. The BG Group manages $2.5 billion in assets comprising work for executives from Fortune 500 companies, doctors, lawyers, and figures in the entertainment industry. The group spent ten years at Merrill and was previously with Morgan Stanley. It is clear that the culture set in place by former head Andy Sieg at Mother Merrill continues to be a bad fit for the seasoned advisor, the bleeding just won’t stop.
Roger Gershman of The Gershman Group, a consultant for advisors, knows well of this transaction, he stated “the Bromberg and Gerschel Group are a very high-profile team who were not ‘buying’ the Bank of America banking model.” UBS is being particularly aggressive, seeking top teams from Merrill nationwide to recruit, and they are offering the highest possible economic packages compared to most any firm on Wall Street.”
He added, “for the right Merrill team with a good business mix and culture, UBS can offer huge 400-450% deals with frontends and backends that are essentially guaranteed.”
In the first quarter, UBS added a net $8.2 billion in client assets. CFO of UBS Americas, Sarah Youngwood, said during an earnings call that the firm was focused on keeping costs flat “while continuing to be on the offense in terms of our FA recruitment and organic growth.” UBS currently has 6,000 brokers in North America. UBS is luring advisors with attractive bonuses, upfront cash, and guaranteed paid bonuses paid as salary over years, not salary plus bonus. Could it be that UBS is the destination of choice for the seasoned advisor versus the young gun salary plus bonus firms such as JPMC and Merrill? We’ve watched the bleeding out of Merrill at the very least, and with JPMC’s hawkish culture, they might be next.