A UBS adviser who oversaw $100 million in client assets has left the wirehouse to join Steward Partners, the independent firm affiliated with Raymond James, according to the brokerage.
Adviser Keith Barberis, who generated $900,000 in annual revenue before moving, joined Steward's office in Bethesda, Md., the firm said. He will focus on building income distribution strategies for mostly pre-retirement and retirement-age clients.
“It is really the people that attracted me to Steward,” Barberis says of the firm founded by former wirehouse managers in 2013. “The culture where we are putting clients first is of the utmost importance to me. That was a prominent piece that I felt was lacking in the industry, but Steward offered.”
Barberis was also attracted by the opportunity to reconnect with former Legg Mason colleagues Constance Miner and Tom O’Bryon II, both of whom were also more recently at UBS and moved to Steward this year.
Jeff Gonyo, divisional president at Steward, says he has known Barberis since 2007 when they worked together in a Citigroup branch. He has since been impressed by Barberis’ quality of work and character.
“He has an awful lot of integrity. In every one of our discussions his philosophy of putting people first really comes through,” Gonyo says. “He treats his clients like family.”
Barberis started his career at the Equitable Life Assurance Society in 1997, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He later moved on to EQ Financial Consultants, Legg Mason and Citigroup before reaching UBS in 2009.
He is the 9th adviser Steward has added to its Maryland office so far, which has a capacity for 15 advisers, according to Gonyo. The firm expects to fill the rest of the openings by as early as the first quarter of 2017.
So far this year, the Washington-based Steward has added new partners every month, says Greg Banasz, head of business development. The firm expects to continue recruiting aggressively he says.
A UBS spokesman declined to comment on Barberis’ departure.