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Ameriprise Nabs $239M Wells Fargo Advisors Team

By Alex Padalka May 5, 2017

Wells Fargo Advisors has lost another team of advisors to Ameriprise Financial, according to a press release from Ameriprise.

Thomas Hughes and Bill Steele, who collectively managed $239 million at Wells Fargo, have joined Ameriprise’s employee channel in Texas and will report to complex director Jeff Bouchard, according to the press release. The team left for Ameriprise “for their strength and safety” and for the firm’s focus on investment planning and management, Hughes says in the press release.

Several Wells Fargo Advisors reps have left for Ameriprise in recent months. In March, Ameriprise’s employee channel picked up a four-advisor team who managed $500 million and another advisor overseeing $65 million. And in February, Ameriprise added a $91 million broker from Wells Fargo Advisors. Ameriprise has also recruited several brokers this year from other rivals, including UBS, Morgan Stanley, Kestra Investment Services, MSI Financial Services and Woodbury Financial Services. The firm added 98 new advisors in the first quarter. Last month, Ameriprise also revealed its acquisition of Investment Professionals, Inc., which will open up the firm’s banking channel with the addition of IPI’s 200 advisors working within 140 banks and credit unions.

Wells Fargo Advisors, meanwhile, has been losing brokers continuously this year. Earlier this week, HighTower announced it nabbed a $300 million team from Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. In April, a Wells Fargo Advisors team with $175 million under management left for HighTower, and a broker overseeing $160 million jumped ship for Steward Partners, an employee-owned independent partnership associated with Raymond James Financial Services. Experts have said the Wells Fargo Advisors brand has suffered as a result of the scandal that enveloped the company’s retail bank last fall. The bank has paid a $185 million fine after revelations that thousands of its retail branch employees opened up to 2 million fake deposit and credit accounts.

Separately, a duo of financial advisors managing $160 million at Raymond James has jumped ship to the broker-dealer subsidiary of Stifel Financial, according to a press release from Stifel.

Mark Kopkin and Scott Englehardt, along with client service associate Yolanda Etchison, join Stifel’s Atlanta Private Client Group, according to the firm.

Kopkin, who’ll serve as senior vice president of investments, says in the press release that the team picked Stifel because of its values and culture and its 125-year history.

Stifel opened its Atlanta office a little over two and a half years ago and has now grown to 70 associates working across its various departments, Stifel says.

Unlike many of its brokerage rivals, Stifel hasn’t had much broker movement in recent months. Raymond James, on the other hand, recently nabbed a Merrill Lynch advisor managing $400 million.

In April, the firm also brought on another Merrill team overseeing $400 million, and in March scooped up three Merrill teams collectively managing $825 million. Raymond James has also recruited brokers this year from Wells Fargo Advisors and Morgan Stanley. In addition, last month Raymond James announced plans to acquire an asset manager with $27 billion under management.