It is an understatement to say that the Covid-19 pandemic ‘changed’ wealth management habits for both firms and clients. Simply claiming changes doesn’t do it justice. Some serious shifts took place and the initial results as it relates to recruiting are beginning to become very clear.
A reduction in costs and overhead associated with hard asset real estate seems to have been shifted to recruiting budgets and high-quality, tenured advisors and teams are benefitting in ways the industry has never seen before.
Specifically, elite (those listed on Forbes and Barron’s lists) teams are defaulting to what is familiar, if not a smidge smaller in scale. As of this writing, two firms have taken a significant lead in the recruiting economy: UBS and Rockefeller.
The case for UBS looks like this – the global leader in wealth management, resources that rival anyone in the industry AND they’ve decided to remove any and all hurdles from their deal when recruiting from traditional rivals (MS, WF, ML). That narrative has never been heard or seen before and it is having a massive impact. **read that again, no hurdles in their deal.
Rockefeller, on the other hand, has become the ‘Goldilocks’ of the wealth management world. Not an independent or hybrid, killer tech platform, a legacy brand name that seriously resonates with HNW and UHNW clients, and a commitment to bring on big teams that are uniquely respected amongst their peers.
What we’ve seen has become a pattern in 2021. The commitment by UBS to go with a no hurdle deal has been a brilliant decision by their leadership, and the Rockefeller name and culture continue to be an easy ‘yes’ when advisors of distinction are approached.
Ultimately, the numbers tell the story: UBS and Rockefeller are leading the recruiting pack by double their closest competitors. Both firms claim asset transfer numbers in Q1 of better than $8B. First Republic and Morgan Stanley are hovering around $3B. A massive gap.
Given that wealth management recruiting is the ultimate ‘capitalism economy’ and assets and revenue flow to the best and brightest – digging deeper with both firms should be on any curious advisors list.