First Republic continues to be very aggressive in recruiting. So much so that they are targeting and poaching wirehouse executives, not just teams and million dollar plus producers. Last week we learned that First Republic was set to poach a ‘significant executive’ from UBS and to keep our ears to the ground. That ‘significant executive’ turned out to be UBS’s head of recruiting, Albert Leshinsky.
Mr. Leshinsky is expected to join First Republic in New York in 60 days, or late May. He is set to work directly with Jonathan Kropf, San Francisco-based First Republic’s senior vice president for private wealth management recruiting. As one would imagine, the directive here is to target UBS and other wirehouse firms to lure the biggest producers across the board. While Mr. Leshinsky may have certain contractual issues with recruiting directly from UBS for a period of time – that doesn’t mean that he will be encumbered with the same restrictions concerning recruits he may have been involved in concerning UBS.
Those same recruits will now be encouraged to seriously consider First Republic if they already haven’t.
Generally speaking, when it comes to recruiting, a department head such as Mr. Leshinsky, only personally gets involved with the biggest and most complex of deals. That looks like the short term play for First Republic. If this hire allows them to pick off a few $5M dollar teams and a couple billion dollars in client assets, it will clearly be worth it. Longer term, Mr. Leshinsky must have checked several boxes from a culture standpoint that First Republic liked.
Beyond personnel moves, First Republic continues to have one of, if not THE, biggest deal on the wealth management recruiting market. Take a close look at their deal and you will find a number that reaches into the stratosphere. Should an ambitious team hit all of their back-end bogeys, they are rewarded in ways that other ‘high end’ deals don’t stretch to (or won’t stretch to).
UBS on the other hand loses a valuable asset but still has redoubled its efforts in the past six months to recruit at a pace reminiscent of the financial crisis. After an 18 month hiatus, the cash register at UBS is humming away again.