Two UBS team members took the plunge and struck out on their own and so far, they say, they’re happy with their decision.
John Choudhary and Anne-Day McCabe left UBS to launch CAM Private Wealth under the Wells Fargo’s independent broker dealer arm, Wells Fargo Financial Network.
Choudhary and McCabe said in an interview that they made the move because they felt hamstrung in the services they were able to provide their clients at UBS. Even the inventory of products they were able to offer clients was limited, they say.
Indeed, UBS has undergone some massive changes in its wealth management arm in recent months and industry observers are watching to see how a new management team fares. But for Choudhary and McCabe, the wait had been long enough.
In their new practice, McCabe said she focuses on planning and Choudhary focuses on the day-to-day investment side. Before they left UBS, they had a client base of about 125 households and managed about $100 million in assets. They declined to say just how big their client base is now, but most of their clients are either retired or close to retirement. Within that age range, though, their clients cover a broad spectrum including corporate executives as well as entrepreneurs, McCabe said.
There has been a wide variety of opinion over the past couple years from advisors, analysts and headhunters on the issue of advisors going private. Contrary to conventional wisdom, some say that most advisors really aren’t entrepreneurial enough to make this move and although they might talk about it, they want the comfort of a large employer. Further, some say despite all the press accounts, there really isn’t a trend at all and that the vast majority of advisors simply move from one wirehouse to another wirehouse.
Indeed, Choudhary and McCabe said they looked at the other wirehouses first as an option, but didn’t see a lot of difference with any of them. And there was no dramatic a-ha moment in their decision-making, they said. Rather, it was a gradual realization that they were unable to serve their clients as they wanted.
So far, they said they are pleased with the level of support from Wells Fargo. They can reach anyone they need with one phone call, they said. “The first week [after making this move], you’re working twenty-four, seven,” Choudhary said, “but it’s worth it.”