With $2.3B in new hires, Rockefeller furthers hot recruiting streak

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Amid a tumultuous year of market volatility and a global pandemic, Rockefeller Capital Management is on a recruiting hot streak.

The firm has picked up roughly two dozen elite teams, eclipsing the 15 it added from December 2018 through year-end 2019.

The moves further Rockefeller’s efforts to develop a boutique firm catering to wealthy clients and their advisors, and show that there’s room for another competitor in the recruiting marketplace.

The firm, which is backed by the private equity arm of Viking Global Investors, offers a competitive recruiting deal and has generated interest, in part due to its illustrious name, says recruiter Michael King.

The firm’s boutique format and small size are also attractive, recruiters say.

“They have a unique offering and they are building a firm comprised of all major producers,” says recruiter Bill Willis. “I don’t know what they’re end game is, but they don’t want to rival a wirehouse in size. So you know if you go there, you’ll have relationships all the way to the top.”

To lure elite talent, Rockefeller has positioned itself as a firm that can service high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients. The company’s businesses include asset management, strategic advisory and a global family office. Rockefeller’s wealth management unit has a fresh technology platform and it even provides clients access to a private aviation platform.

“It’s part of a broader approach of creating lifestyle components for the ultrahigh-net-worth client. It could be security concerns, travel, entertainment,” Chris Dupuy, national field director of private wealth management, told Financial Planning earlier this year.

Those elements and an aggressive recruiting strategy have helped build out the wealth management business since it evolved in 2018 from its namesake’s New York-based family office, which was itself established in 1882.

Top executive Chris Randazzo details how the firm intends to attract elite advisors and the clients they serve.
July 23

Rockefeller’s senior leadership includes a number of wirehouse alums, such as Greg Fleming, former president of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and Chris Randazzo, former CIO of Global Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. Dupuy joined Rockefeller from Focus Financial and was a longtime Merrill Lynch executive.

Like its leadership, the firm has been looking to wirehouse talent to fill its advisory ranks.

Just this month, Rockefeller added four new teams overseeing more than $2.3 billion in combined client assets. To staff a newly opened office in Dallas, the firm tapped a former Morgan Stanley team led by Marie Moore. Moore was recently ranked No. 42 on Forbes’ Top Women Wealth Advisors and was listed as having approximately $500 million in AUM.

Moore had been with Morgan Stanley and predecessor firm Smith Barney since 1993. Also moving with her are: Shawn D. Moore, Robin Barry, Emily H. Lumley, and Cassidy Steck.

In nearby Houston, Rockefeller hired an ex-UBS team comprised of Francis Amsler, Marc Laborde, Christopher Bowman, Angie Bacon and Susan Bowman. They joined an office staffed with two other teams, according to Rockefeller.

In Walnut Creek, California, Rockellefer recruited the FMC Group from Merrill Lynch. The team includes Robert Fink, Donny Chu, John McMahon Jr., Sue Badgley and Hillary Collins.

And to staff a recently opened branch in Scottsdale, Arizona, Rockefeller chose the ZWMG team. The former UBS group includes Jason Zilveti, Ryan Papez and Frances Miranda.

To further its hiring streak, Rockefeller has been adding additional management. Earlier this year, the firm tapped Brian Riley as head of the San Francisco office and director of its Pacific Northwest division. Riley was previously with First Republic, which has also been aggressively courting top advisor talent.

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Recruiting Boutiques Greg Fleming Rockefeller Capital Management Chris Dupuy