February 21, 2024



An all-female team of advisers serving international private wealth clients has left the thundering crowd for a rival securities firm.

UBS in a statement Press release On Monday, it hired O’Connor & Associates, a San Jose, Calif.-based private wealth group, from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. The team manages about $875 million in assets and produced about $4.5 million in the past 12 months, a person familiar with the matter said.It includes private wealth advisors and managing directors Tin O’Connorr, Senior Wealth Strategy Associate Jenny Brummer and Client Service Associate Erica Soriano.

This move is beneficial UBS’s ultra-high ambitions Net worth space, but a blow to Merrill Wealth Management same goal customer base.

Earlier this month, Merrill Lynch Lost the team that managed $1 billion Upstart-backed independent company Sanctuary and a team $875 million under management Into the world of registered investment advice.Merrill Lynch Reports consultants down slightly April, despite a record first-quarter net influx of new households.

Merrill Lynch is also grappling with possible morale challenge in later advisors recent leadership changes. Former Merrill Lynch President, Andy Sieg, left in late MarchLongtime Merrill Lynch Chief Operating Officer Kirstin Hill also announced her retire Last month, after about 25 years at the company. Hill will resign sometime this month, a Merrill spokesman confirmed in an email to an internal memo dated April 21 from new co-heads Lindsay Hans and Eric Schimpf. announced in . The company did not confirm Hill’s last day on the job.

Last few years, Recruiters and Industry Consultants said they heard from dissatisfied advisers that Bank of America, Merrill Lynch’s parent company, was under increasing pressure to cross-sell banking products, and concession Go with their rival Bank of America Wealth at Bank of America Private Bank.

Industry recruiter Roger Gershman said that in O’Connor’s case, it was frustration with the apparent “cultural shift within the company,” especially over the past two years, that drove her team to leave. Merrill Lynch.

“It’s been a common theme for two years now that the banks are imposing their agenda and their culture on these Merrill consultants. It’s not resonating with them,” Gershman said.

Gershman, CEO of The Gershman Group, a San Francisco-based industry recruiting and consulting firm, is a former Merrill Lynch consultant and former recruiter himself, and an expert in working with Merrill Lynch consultants. Over the past year, he has advised O’Connor on his moves.

“almost burst into tears”
Specifically, the bank put increasing pressure on O’Connor’s assistants to cope with the increased workload and even help other advisers, especially those in private banks, Gershman said, adding that he learned from many Merrill assistants heard it was a source of frustration.

“Her assistant was almost in tears because she was now feeling the pressure to handle the needs of private banking clients, such as their loans, credit cards, online access,” recalls Gershman. “Not only are they spending an incredible amount of time on their current exercises, but now they have other features they’ve never been used to, and they’re being asked to exercise.”

“So that’s the main reason for the move.”

Gershman says that while all the attention is usually on advisors who are unhappy when they leave, employers need to focus on their support staff, who are less visible but critical to their advisors’ success. They can also wield a lot of leverage in action.

Gershman said O’Connor’s group is “a close-knit team” and has worked together for years.While Brummer is one of the partners, she is not officially considered a financial advisor based on her job title, but she is technically an advisor too — with an active broker and Investment Adviser License.

“These assistants are essential. So whether it’s their salary, their function, or their real well-being in their new company, it all plays a big role in how the business works,” Gershman said.

The O’Connor Group’s move was announced earlier LinkedIn post Emily de la Reguera, Marketing Director, UBS Silicon Valley. Reporting directly to de la Reguera, the team joins UBS San Francisco Private Wealth Management Markets, managed by Todd Locicero, according to a press release.

“Your team is absolutely amazing and we are delighted to be part of the UBS family!” Blumer said in a statement comment response LinkedIn post by de la Reguera.

Gershman said the group chose UBS because of the perception that UBS would not pressure advisers to cross-sell banking products and would provide O’Connor with many resources to help her serve an international client base, including Many Asian clients.

According to her, O’Connor is a Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor and a Certified Plan Trust Counselor and speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese LinkedIn profile. Her practice specializes in comprehensive wealth management for individuals, families, corporations, endowments and foundations, with a particular focus on helping start-ups.

“I’m passionate about helping startups and their founders throughout the business cycle from initial funding to IPO/exit. Additionally, I’m a strong supporter of women professionals,” O’Connor writes in her LinkedIn profile summary .

“We look forward to having her help us continue to expand our client services in this key market,” de la Reguera said of O’Connor in the release. “Ting, Jenny and Erica have built their business and served clients in a way that represents the future of our industry and feel her clients will be well served here at UBS.”

The release did not mention Merrill directly.

Although UBS faces its own challenges and risks Industry perception of its wealth arm as an adviser destination remains positive, recruiters told Financial Planning, as it plans to undertake a massive integration effort to acquire Credit Suisse. “It’s the dominant private bank globally,” Gershman said of UBS.Some first republic advisor have move there In the past two months, as well as other wire companies, Gershman said he did not see such consultants joining Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch declined to comment on the move. UBS said it could not make O’Connor available for an interview or immediately respond to questions.