Large Move to Rockefeller: The Beginning of the End of Alex Brown

It’s been six  long years since the acquisition of Deutsche Bank advisors to Raymond James, who created a boutique division named Alex Brown which was, on paper, supposed to cater the most sophisticated advisors in the nation and their UHNW clients and institutions. It was a culture clash from the very beginning.

Raymond James is a fine firm, who has a very good reputation as a regional firm catering to the average wealth of America and the average financial advisor. Roger Gershman, a recruiter who specializes in Alex Brown advisors, knew all about the deal with  Rich Hassan and says this about the legacy advisors from DB, “the products and services at Ray J/Alex Brown did not meet the needs of the Deutsche Bank advisor who had a wide range of offerings from very sophisticated lending solutions, institutional coverage, deep capital markets expertise, and very sophisticated alternative investments. “Whereas Raymond James was able to address some of the needs of these advisors, the end need of the private client was just not met.”

Haig Ariyan, who had guided the former Deutsche Bank through its purchase by Raymond James, was the sole voice who bridged the gap and stood up for his division. With Haig now gone, and with only 1 year left before the terms of the DB- Alex Brown maturing, the firm will likely see many more departures.

Rich Hassan and his team, which generated over $8 million in production and over $1.4 billion in assets, was one of the longest serving and one of the more sophisticated advisors emblematic of the old guard at Deutsche Bank. “Rich said he’d never leave and would retire at Alex brown (assuming Haig remained) but was too high profile and was heavily recruited  by the street with well above market offers.  He finally landed at Rockefeller Capital.” says Gershman.

“Rockefeller Capital is a great spot for these Alex Brown advisors though the competition remains fierce for these guys.” says Gershman. “The deals for old DB business are definitely being priced at a premium to the market though these businesses are quite sophisticated, and the right buyer and platform is key.”

Hassan spent most of his career at Alex. Brown, Morgan Stanley and Thomas Weisel Partners before joining Deutsche in 2004, He is now registered with Rockefeller in Stamford and Boca Raton.