UBS has taken over the high-end wealth management recruiting market and is showing no signs of letting up. Through the first four months of 2021, ending in April, UBS has added more than $30B in client assets to the firm’s US wealth management operations. Everyone else is scrambling to figure out why and attempting to play catch up.
Somewhere, deep in the bunker that is the UBS recruiting department in Weehawken, NJ, a decision was made nearly a year ago to make two strategic pivots: value private bankers in the same way they value traditional advisors and remove all the hurdles from their traditional rivals deal. An explosion occurred.
Here is a short (but nowhere near all-inclusive) list of the biggest moves to UBS through 2021:
- J. P. Morgan Private Bank, Dallas $10B
- J. P. Morgan Private Bank, Los Angeles $6.5B
- J. P. Morgan Private Bank, Miami $5B
- J. P. Morgan Private Bank, Atlanta $9B
- Wells Fargo Private Bank, San Diego $2B
- BofA Private Bank, San Francisco $2B**a little math above, that’s already more than $30B. Wow.
This recruiting run is unprecedented. Historic. Never been done before. Ever. $30B in four months? There has never been a firm that has approached that number in 6 months across the history of wealth management recruiting.
For comparison’s sake, Rockefeller is currently having a banner year in recruiting with $10B in recruited AUM. So fully an entire 2/3 behind UBS. And if recruiting chatter is any indication, expect UBS’ success to continue.
As we’ve discussed in previous articles the keys to this surge have been the aggressive move into private banking and the removal of all hurdles for teams at firms like Merrill and Morgan Stanley. Other traditional rivals like Wells Fargo and Rockefeller continue to pitch asset/revenue matrix models with hurdles year over year. Effectively, UBS’ has brought a fully guaranteed deal to market.
The response?? The numbers don’t lie – it’s historic.