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Wells Fargo Strikes Deal To Recruit 250 Credit Suisse Advisors

By George C. Miller, Esq.  of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Friday, October 23, 2015.

Credit Suisse has announced plans to wind down its U.S. private banking division, which means the bank’s approximately 250 brokers will need to find a new home whether they like it or not.  Rather than buying Credit Suisse’s boutique brokerage division outright, Wells Fargo recently announced an agreement with Credit Suisse to “recruit” the firm’s approximately 250 advisors to join Wells Fargo. Recruitment deals (e.g., up-front bonuses offered to Credit Suisse brokers) reportedly will be in line with what Wells Fargo offers other experienced financial advisors. Wells Fargo also plans to expand its offering of proprietary Credit Suisse funds and products in connection with the deal.

Credit Suisse’s approximately 250 financial advisors manage around $115 billion in assets under management. The firm had become a destination for brokers who wanted to work for a boutique, high-end firm catering to wealthy and ultra-wealthy investors. A move to Wells Fargo, which employs in the range of 15,000 financial advisors across the country, will obviously carry a change in firm culture and new products, policies and procedures. According to the head of Wells Fargo Advisors, Mary Mack, the agreement is part of Wells Fargo’s efforts to attract higher-net-worth investors to the firm. 

Potential problems may arise any time a financial advisor transitions from one firm to another, whether or not that transition is part of a mass recruitment agreement. To ease advisors’ concerns, Wells Fargo’s head of wealth and investment management, David Carroll, stated through a spokesperson that the agreement with Credit Suisse “creates an enhanced recruitment process that streamlines the transition to Wells Fargo with minimal impact.”  Just how minimal that impact will be remains to be seen. Credit Suisse’s decision to shut down its U.S. private banking and brokerage division follows RBC Wealth Management’s recent decision to shutter its International Advisory Group and the sale of Barclay’s wealth management division to Stifel Financial Corp.

Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C.’s attorneys have extensive experience in representing brokers and financial advisors in recruitment, employment and wrongful termination claims, promissory note disputes, FINRA arbitrations and regulatory proceedings. Contact us today for a complimentary and confidential analysis of your situation.   

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