UBS Set To Lose More Advisors In The Midwest; Keep An Eye On MLK Day Weekend

In October nearly half of an entire UBS office in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio walked across the street and opened a brand new Morgan Stanley location. That move, and some of the subsequent legal back and forth, has been well covered in industry pubs.

But it’s about to get worse for the shrinking wirehouse in Ohio. In conversations last week, at least one and possibly two of the largest teams in Ohio are in deep conversations to leave the firm.

One source close to a team in the northern part of Ohio said the following:

“They’ve done their due diligence and it is nothing more than timing at this point. Timing as to clients, team internals, and a few dotted I’s and a couple crossed T’s on their preferred deal. And if one were to give just a little bit of thought as to who the team is, I doubt most would be surprised.”

The other team in Ohio that looks to have its track shoes on to make a run for it is in the opposite corner of the state. And our source their said that the recently announced comp grid changes accelerated their plans:

“Any team that was passively engaged in due diligence in terms of a move is smart to accelerate the process. That is what they have clearly done. Why wait around to see how much they enjoy the ‘beatings will continue until morale improves’ culture? That makes zero sense. Expect action quicker than I previously thought.”

To believe that UBS brass thought that they could dramatically (up to 20%) shift both individual and team grids with limited dislocation of some of their prized teams is incredibly stupid. You have to wonder what those meetings were like in the beginning stages over the past year. Did anyone in the room stop and say, ‘guys this is a stupid %&@*! idea – we are going to get killed by attrition’?

Nataril and his direct charges have swung and missed several times over the past 18 months – or rather since the departure of the two Bob’s (McCann and Mulholland). Ask just about any FA at the firm and they’d quickly opine about the days of ‘quick wins’ and advisor-centric policies.

With Nataril they’ve gotten protocol exit, expense tightening, a near recruiting moratorium, and now comp grid changes that have turned the huddled masses into a mob. Nice work.

 



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