Although the advisor recruiting frenzy is certainly slowing down, two trends clearly standout. One is that LPL Financial has been a big winner with its variety of models and offerings for incoming advisors. The second is that Merrill Lynch has been a big loser with several high-profile exits.
This continued this week with two teams leaving Merrill Lynch who collectively manage over $1 billion in assets. The Coutant Group which is led by Kevin and Keith Coutant announced that they are leaving for UBS. The five-person group manages $700 million in assets with lead advisors Keith and Kevein having spent 23 and 20 years at the company, respectively. At UBS, they will be joining Soundview Wealth Management and continue operating in Connecticut.
So far in 2023, UBS has recruited away nearly $4 billion in client assets from Merrill Lynch. Reportedly, the bank has been offering generous packages to brokers including guaranteed back-end bonuses and deals that are in the 400% range.
The other major exit from Merrill was John Foley who managed $340 million in assets and left for RBC. According to reports, the exits are motivated by competitors offering more generous compensation and providing more freedom in terms of product recommendations and client relationships.
Finsum: Merrill Lynch has seen a steady stream of exits from advisors and brokers with large books. The latest are more than $1 billion in assets leaving for UBS and RBC.