First Republic poaches $500M UBS wealth manager
First Republic has persuaded another wirehouse veteran to join its ranks as it executes an aggressive recruiting plan, with particular emphasis on luring talent from the big firms.
The four-person team is the first 2019 hires for the boutique bank.
In the U.S., investors pulled $174 billion out of active equity funds last year as stock pickers struggled to outperform their benchmarks.
Senior wealth manager Greg Zappas has moved to First Republic in Newport Beach, California, from UBS — where he managed over $500 million in assets. He will provide clients at First Republic with investment management, retirement planning and other services. UBS declined to comment on Zappas’ move.
First Republic has been on a recruiting tear as it scoops up high-end talent from its competitors. Last year the regional bank pulled off deals to bring on several billion-dollar teams. The firm hired 11 new teams in 2018 and has hit the ground running this year.
Earlier in January the firm picked up a four-person team from Wells Fargo.
Zappas has 23 years of industry experience, serving as a senior vice president at UBS for seven years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Before UBS, Zappas spent nine years with UST Securities before it became a part of Merrill Lynch. He remained there another four years after the deal.
“Greg Zappas is a highly experienced wealth manager who has been very successful in helping individuals and families achieve their financial objectives,” Bob Thornton, First Republic’s president of private wealth management, said in a statement.
Zappas was not available to comment directly.
Wirehouses have been struggling to retain advisor talent as planners say they are looking for more flexible work environments that will allow them to better serve their clients. UBS lost advisors to Raymond James, Rockefeller, and Steward Partners in 2018.
Additionally, UBS has recently warned that there could be trouble ahead after clients pulled $13 billion in assets during the market decline in the final months of 2018.