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UBS Loses Team to Fleming’s Rockefeller

By Alex Padalka May 23, 2019

Rockefeller Capital Management, led by Gregory Fleming, a former president at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, has added its first San Francisco-based wealth advice team with two hires from UBS, Rockefeller says.

Bruce Tenenbaum and Andy Lam have joined Rockefeller Global Family Office, according to a press release from the company. Tenenbaum joined UBS in 2009 after 16 years working in Goldman Sachs’ private wealth management unit, Rockefeller says. Lam began his financial services career with UBS in 2015, according to his BrokerCheck profile.

The move marks Rockefeller’s expansion into the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest as it builds out its wealth management capabilities, the company says. Under Fleming’s leadership, Rockefeller has lured several executives and advisors from rivals. In March, Rockefeller Global Family Office lured the president of the Mid-Atlantic region at Wilmington Trust to oversee advisors in the company’s first office in Philadelphia; RBC’s head of advisor recruiting to manage private wealth advisors in the Northeast; as well as Merrill Lynch’s market executive for the greater Dallas market to oversee Rockefeller’s private wealth business in Texas, Colorado and other Southern Plains states.

The secret to Rockefeller’s recent successes in poaching top financial advisors from rivals could lie in particularly lucrative signing deals, according to news reports.

The firm’s private wealth management unit has been offering 300% signing bonuses of advisors’ annual production, industry executives and recruiters tell InvestmentNews.

The deals are just as competitive as the biggest deals elsewhere in the industry, Casey Knight, executive vice president and managing director at recruiting firm ESP Financial Search, tells the publication.

But Rockefeller is willing to go even above 300% for advisors from wirehouses, particularly from large teams that have $3 million to $4 million or more in annual production, Knight says, according to InvestmentNews. Rockefeller also sets growth targets on the deals, meaning advisor teams that increase their revenue over a set amount of time can get larger bonuses, industry executives and recruiters tell the publication.

Much like the rest of the industry, Rockefeller offers the bonuses as forgivable loans — but they could be for as long as 12 years, or about three years longer than the average in the industry, sources tell InvestmentNews.

A Rockefeller spokeswoman declined to comment about its recruiting packages to the publication.