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Wells Fargo $760M Team Lured to Raymond James

June 12, 2018

Advisor turnover at Wells Fargo Advisors continues, with the firm losing a $760 million team of representatives to Raymond James but picking up a $180 million team from UBS.

In Michigan, Raymond James & Associates, the traditional employee broker-dealer of Raymond James Financial, has lured Lee Miller, Craig Cooley and Michael Wegener, who opened the company’s newest office in Bay City as Water Street Wealth Management of Raymond James, according to a press release from the firm.

The three advisors previously oversaw over $500 million at Wells Fargo Advisors, Raymond James says. Miller had been with Wells Fargo Advisors and its predecessor firm, A.G. Edwards, for close to two decades, while Cooley had joined A.G. Edwards in 2001, according to the press release. Wegener has been in the financial services industry since 1997 and with Wells Fargo since 2010, Raymond James says. They are joined by registered representatives Brian Abraham, Amy Goulet, Lynn Gehoski, Charisse Roenicke and Michele Valentine, according to the press release.

“I wanted to be with a firm where I had the freedom to do what is in my clients’ best interest at all times, without influence or firm pressures,” Cooley, senior vice president of wealth management, says in the press release.

In addition, Tim Godin, who started his financial services career at A.G. Edwards in 1990, has joined Raymond James’s offices in Farmington Hills, Mich., Raymond James says. Along with a sales associate and an assistant training to become a financial advisor, Godin will operate as Godin Wealth Management of Raymond James, according to the press release.

“I was attracted to Raymond James for many reasons,” Godin says in the press release. “Most importantly, I wanted to be at a firm whose values are similarly aligned with my own.

Wells Fargo has been shedding advisors to rivals ever since a bogus account scandal hit the company’s retail banking unit in 2016. The exodus has continued in 2018, particularly since Wells Fargo’s wealth management units’ sales practices came under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and the SEC. Raymond James has frequently been on the receiving end for Wells Fargo’s departing representatives. Earlier this month, the company lured a $505 million Wells Fargo team in Denver, Colo. In recent months, Wells Fargo has also lost representatives to Stifel, Janney Montgomery Scott, RBC Wealth Management and UBS.

(Getty)

But Wells Fargo has also been able to snap up at least three big-city UBS teams in May, according to AdvisorHub. Most recently, Marc Cohen and Benjamin Cohen, a father-son team who managed $180 million at UBS, joined Wells Fargo Advisors in New York, according to the industry news website. UBS has been losing representatives following its late-2017 withdrawal from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, which allows departing advisors to take some client data without threat of lawsuits. In May, Wells Fargo also picked up two UBS teams in Chicago that collectively oversaw $516 million, AdvisorHub writes.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.