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RJ’s Steward Partners Nabs Wells Fargo Advisors FA

By Alex Padalka April 6, 2017

A Wells Fargo Advisors rep has jumped ship to Steward Partners, according to a press release from Steward Partners.

William Blake, III, who managed $160 million at Wells Fargo Advisors, will join as director and partner of Steward Partners, an employee-owned independent partnership associated with Raymond James Financial Services.

Blake says he joined the firm for the management team and the culture, but dissatisfaction with the situation at his former home may have had something to do with the move too. “When I focus on my client service model and not various banking initiatives, everything just comes together,” Blake says in the press release.

Wells Fargo Advisors continues shedding brokers to rivals, which some industry experts attribute to fallout from the scandal that hit the company’s retail bank. Revelations that Wells Fargo’s branch employees opened up to two million bogus debit and credit accounts last fall has seemingly tainted the Wells Fargo Advisors brand, they say. The brokerage lost 200 brokers in the last quarter of 2016 and departures continue this year. Raymond James picked up another $138 million team recently, and a $375 million group of advisors joined Raymond James’ employee channel in February. Ameriprise Financial snatched a $500 million team from Wells Fargo Advisors in March.

Raymond James, on the other hand, has been on a hiring spree in recent months. In March, it picked up two Merrill Lynch teams collectively managing $453 million and a $144 million team from Morgan Stanley. And in February, six Morgan Stanley reps collectively managing $700 million joined Steward Partners. In the press release announcing Blake’s recruitment, Steward Partners CEO Jim Gold says the company could have record recruitment in 2017. The firm added 10 new advisors collectively managing more than $1 billion year to date.