Wells Fargo’s offer to the roughly 250 brokers at the U.S. private-banking unit of Credit Suisse was just made official, but the first broker to leave the firm went to Merrill Lynch, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Nicole Primack Andres had been at the U.S. private-banking arm of Credit Suisse since the company’s 2000 acquisition of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, her previous employer, the paper writes. She has joined Merrill’s Private Banking and Investment Group, which manages money for investors with $10 million or more, the Journal says. Her registration with Merrill dates to Nov. 2, according to her BrokerCheck profile, where she is dually registered as a broker and an investment advisor.
Andres may be followed by others, as “dozens” of top producers at Credit Suisse expressed concern with Wells Fargo’s offer touting a smooth transition but putting a $5 million cap on up-front compensation, notes the Journal.
Wells Fargo has been trying to prevent losing them by sweetening the deal for some brokers who would come up against that limit, offering them up to $2.5 million more in deferred compensation vested over four years, people familiar with the matter tell the Journal.
But other brokerages have already swooped in, with UBS especially keen to court Credit Suisse brokers, and execs at other big firms indicating that they’re doing the same, the newspaper observes.
Even before the announcement of the deal from Wells Fargo, several Credit Suisse advisors jumped ship, with three going to each of Merrill, UBS and Morgan Stanley, according to the Journal.