Wells Fargo wealth unit losing advisors to rivals

The advisors are decamping as the firm’s reputation continues to deteriorate

Wells Fargo wealth unit losing advisors to rivals
Between a continuing barrage of bad press and an exodus of experienced advisors, Wells Fargo can’t seem to catch a break.

Wells Fargo Advisors, the wealth arm of the scandal-hit bank, has lost more than 70 teams responsible for some US$19 billion from October through the end of June, according to Financial Advisor IQ. Many advisors are going to rival wealth firms, with the most recent ones joining RBC Wealth Management and Raymond James.

A press release from RBC said that James Carbonell and Matthew Forrey have joined its Walnut Creek, California office to form the Carbonell Forrey Wealth Management Group. The duo oversaw US$365 million in assets at Wells Fargo Advisors; Carbonell had been with Wells Fargo since 2004, while Forrey had been there since 1998.

According to the RBC press release, Carbonell said they were drawn to the firm’s “fierce focus on the client/advisor relationship.” Amy Caffese, also from Wells Fargo Advisors, is joining the firm as a senior investment associate.

Meanwhile, W. Bowen McRae Jr. and his associate Shirley Cook have joined the employee unit of Raymond James. According to a statement from the firm, McRae started his career at Wells Fargo predecessor AG Edwards and eventually went on to manage US$200 million.

Also joining Raymond James’ employee unit are Roger Sullivan and Kyle Hawthorne, who together managed US$145 million at Wells Fargo. Sullivan joined AG Edwards in 2000, while Hawthorne’s stint at Wells Fargo began in 2014.

Wells Fargo recently paid US$185 million following revelations that its reps opened as many as two million fake accounts. Since then, it has been hit with other scandals from multiple fronts, including the discovery of as many as 1.5 million more fake accounts, allegations of unnecessary auto loans to clients, and a sexual harassment suit.

For more of Wealth Professional's latest industry news, click here.

Related stories:
No relief in sight for Wells Fargo
How a global bank scandal has changed an industry