The Wells Fargo Wagon – Now a Ferrari
Wells has just planted a monster flag in Manhattan with their new modern offices in Hudson Yards, cementing its foothold in the PWM space by acquiring one of the largest teams in the nation from UBS PWM. Founded by brothers Andrew and Todd Perry, a 14-member team is said to be generating $20M on $5B in assets under management. Andrew’s 35-year career originally began at Salomon Brothers before co-founding the Perry Group at Merrill Lynch in 1998 with Todd. In 2002 Andrew and Todd became Managing Directors at Deutsche Bank before then joining UBS in 2008.
This is not the Wells most advisors think they believe it is. Damaged severely by the 2008 scandal and subsequently losing almost 4,000 advisors, the firm has taken well over a decade to completely revamp senior leadership, almost every product group, down to most every manager in the field. Wells is an undervalued story and if you look underneath the hood you may realize this is a firm that will allow advisors’ businesses to flourish.
Barry Sommers, former head of JPM Private Bank and Securities, and now the new Head of Wealth Management at Wells has totally streamlined the many disparate businesses, including getting rid of all the salary/bonus private bankers and allowing traditional private client advisors to help manage and grow the massive relationships of the private bank, the commercial bank, and the investment bank.
This is in direct opposite of how the JPMorgan Private Bank operates with their JPM Securities division and also the direct opposite of what is now happening at BOA with their Merrill division.
This is a conscious decision from top leadership to be either a Private Bank or Brokerage Firm. Seemingly, Wells is copying First Republic Bank where the Commercial lending book of clients was handed to financial advisors to build upon these relationships and grow massive books. Wells’ balance sheet dwarfs FRB’s, which dominates the jumbo mortgage market with about 70% market share in CA and almost 40% nationally. Apparently, Wells pays an average of 1% recurring rev for almost every type of loan an advisor places which is an unheard-of commission.
Most big firms have PWM divisions like ML PBIG, MS PWM, and UBS PWM. The architect behind ML PBIG over 30 years ago was a legend in the business, named Jim Hayes, who created the identical division within Wells PWM Platform. Those early pioneer advisors who join this boutique PWM within Wells stand to reap huge referrals. They’re essentially looking to direct more UHNW referrals to their incentivized PWM Financial Advisors and dramatically increase their investment banking and commercial banking referrals from $9 B to $25B a year – no inflation needed here.
The new CEO, Charlie Scharf, has solidified executive leadership who is a Jamie Dimon protégé and proven leader at VISA and BNY Mellon, who is a Board member of Microsoft and importantly, whose father was a financial advisor. This new leadership team demonstrates a new culture from the very top that positively flows all the way down the ladder all across the nation.
Trust me, this wagon isn’t slowing down, if you want to hitch on do it while the opportunity is here.
The Perry Team is the tip of the iceberg of aggressively recruiting the biggest and most top talented advisors in the country, offering some of the largest transition packages we have ever seen in the business. A recruiter source tells us, “no firm comes close to their massive Upfronts, Backends, Deferred Matches, GRID payouts and Retirement packages. I’m astounded by the deals I’ve been able to negotiate and just shows how committed this firm is to recruiting.”
Finally, if an advisor cares to eventually transition to Independence, Wells is one the world’s largest custodians with about 50 BD’s allowing advisors a very smooth, no papering of clients, transitions with a 90%+ 1099 payouts. No firm has this offering.
The sleeping giant has woken and morphed into a recruiting powerhouse.