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Execs Flee Waddell & Reed as FA Count Down 30%

By Alex Padalka May 18, 2018

Several senior executives have left the brokerage and mutual funds firm Waddell & Reed as its broker-dealer subsidiary saw a 30% drop in advisor ranks in the first quarter compared to the year prior, InvestmentNews writes.

Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors ended the first quarter with 1,170 advisors, 492 fewer than a year prior, according to the publication. In April, meanwhile, Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. saw the departures of Wendy Hills, the company’s general counsel and chief legal officer, who was replaced by Mark Buyle, and Nikki Newton, president of Ivy Distributors Inc., which distributes Waddell’s mutual funds, InvestmentNews writes. Newton was replaced by Amy Scupham, according to the publication. The same month, two portfolio managers also left the firm, InvestmentNews writes. A company spokeswoman tells the publication the departures were not connected to each other but declined to elaborate, citing company policy.

Waddell & Reed has also shed client assets, ending the first quarter with $80.2 billion, a 1% drop from the previous quarter as well as from the first quarter the year prior, the company said, according to InvestmentNews.

But advisor productivity at Waddell & Reed has increased, according to the publication. On average, advisors had $285,000 in annual production revenue by the end of the first quarter of 2018, compared to $230,000 last March, the publication writes, citing the company.