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UBS Loses $3.5B Team to Raymond James

By Alex Padalka June 29, 2017

The exodus of top producers from UBS continues unabated, with Raymond James nabbing a team of UBS reps overseeing $3.5 billion, according to a press release from Raymond James.

The Kikawa Group, led by managing director and veteran advisor Ronald Kikawa, joins Raymond James’ Honolulu, Hawaii, branch, according to the press release. The seven advisors in Kikawa’s practice collectively brought in $5 million in annual fees and commissions while at UBS, Raymond James says. Kikawa, who’s been in the financial services industry since 1976, had joined UBS in 2007 from Smith Barney, according to the press release.

Kikawa and his team picked Raymond James in part because the company “will allow us to serve our clients as fiduciaries and in the manner they have come to expect,” he says in the press release. In addition, Kikawa says switching to Raymond James will allow the team to continue working with institutional clients while letting them continue using the same managers.

Last month, UBS told its advisors working on retirement accounts that they will only be compensated based on assets under management and not on product fees or trade commissions. The move came days ahead of the partial implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which purports to require retirement account advisors to put clients’ interests first while disclosing any conflicts of interest. Raymond James, meanwhile, is among several large brokerages that have opted to keep commission-based IRAs among their offerings.

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In recent months, Raymond James has been nabbing brokers from rivals while UBS has been shedding theirs. Merrill Lynch alone has scooped up five UBS advisors in recent weeks who collectively managed $4.3 billion. UBS has also lost advisors to First Republic Bank Wealth Management and Ameriprise, and several UBS reps broke off to start independent practices on the Dynasty Financial Network.

Raymond James, meanwhile, has picked off several Merrill Lynch brokers in recent months who collectively managed more than $1.6 billion. Raymond James has also nabbed advisors from Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Advisors.