It’s been a tumultuous 12 months for wirehouse branch managers. Not only did they have to guide advisors through the meltdown, but many also faced major changes to their own positions.
Last year, both Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and UBS moved to a "complex" management structure, under which one complex manager oversees a number of branches. A number of branch managers, who were not chosen to be complex managers, were then told they had to build a book of clients and become producing branch managers.
As a result, some managers are opting to move out of the wirehouse channel and take their skills and experience to regional firms.
One beneficiary has been Milwaukee-based Baird Private Wealth Management. Last Thursday, Charles E. Singer moved to Baird from Smith Barney. He was previously the manager of Smith Barney’s Indianapolis branch, overseeing 55 advisors with more than $6 billion in client assets. He also oversaw two satellite offices in Indiana.
Singer spent 25 years at Smith Barney. He will lead Baird’s office in Indianapolis.
On Monday, he was joined at Baird by James Carideo. He was previously the manager of Smith Barney’s Los Angeles office, overseeing 82 advisors with more than $10 billion in client assets. He spent 18 years at Smith Barney, including a period as head of Smith Barney Australia, according to Baird.
Carideo will be based in Tampa, Fla., where he began his career as an advisor for Smith Barney. He will also oversee branches in Orlando, Palm Harbor and Winter Park.
“There’s a number of unbelievably talented people who are unhappy and available,” said White Plains, New York-based recruiter Danny Sarch. “But unfortunately there are far more unhappy branch managers than places for them to go.”
Baird also has a connection to Smith Barney through its new chief operating officer Denise Wypiszensk, who was the former director and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s western division that moved to Baird in November.
But Baird is not the only winner from the movement among managers. Last month Glenn Fischer, who spent 23 years as a branch manager at Smith Barney, opened New York Wealth Management, a Garden City, N.Y.-based independent firm affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services.Following the merger with Morgan Stanley, Fischer went back to being a financial advisor at the merged firm before leaving in September to set up his new firm.
UBS is also facing similar discontent among its managers following its restructuring and cost cutting. Earlier this week, Mike Witous, the former Western Michigan manager at UBS, moved to Oppenheimer to take up the post of regional manager for the whole of Michigan. His move came after UBS cut the number of managerial positions in the state from three to two.
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