Predictions about a slowdown in financial advisor recruiting appear to be premature. Last week, Wells Fargo, which purchased Wachovia, which purchased AG Edwards, announced it was looking to add 1400 financial advisors. It plans to recruit 400 new advisors and obtain the others from other firms. This comes on the heels of reports that BofA intends to add 2000 advisors.
Movement of established brokers often leads to litigation/arbitration when the parties involved are not members of The Broker Protocol. Obviously there is no concern when a broker/dealer is hiring a trainee but even when a broker/dealer is a member of the Protocol it may still file suit or compel an arbitration when a competing firm is raiding its employees.
Most recently, as covered by Mark Astarita of SEClaw.com, Raymond James was hit with a $12.1 million dollar arbitration award in a case involving 20 advisers in 4 branch offices. Wachovia alleged Raymond James raided its branch offices. A copy of the award is available at SECLaw.com. Allegedly, Wachovia lost $5.3 million dollars in production from the departure of the advisors.
We’ll keep an eye on BofA and Wachovia’s recruiting efforts.