After 20 years as a financial advisor with UBS Wealth Management Americas, John David “J.D.” Joyce has moved to independent broker-dealer Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network in Houston, a move he says will fulfill his life-long entrepreneurial dreams.

“Being self employed to me is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Joyce said.

Joyce made the move on May 23 along with his team members, Katie Letsos, senior registered operations manager, and Dell Thomason, senior portfolio administrator. The team operates under the name J.D. Joyce Investment Management Group, and previously had $306 million in client assets under management.

Joyce, who started out at PaineWebber before it merged with UBS, admits that he probably wouldn’t have wanted to start out in the business as an independent practice. But the idea of owning the business became more appealing as time went on, he said. He was particularly attracted to Wells Fargo because of its reputation in the industry.

“In an era of Madoff and an era of Stanford…I felt like I needed the strength and stability of not only a strong name, but a big name,” Joyce said.

The decision to join the firm was a joint decision among Joyce’s team, including Thomasan, who has served at UBS for 21 years, and Letsos, who joined the team eight years ago. So far the move has meant longer hours for the team, according to Joyce, who is usually in the office by 6:30 a.m. and now often finds himself still there until at least 8:30 p.m.

“We’re extremely happy,” Joyce said of his team. “I’ve moved one time in my career, and this is it. And I don’t plan on moving again.”

FiNet added a record 152 financial advisors in 2012, according to Kent Christian, president of Wells Fargo’s FiNet business. More than half of those hires came from wirehouse firms.

“More advisors, and specifically more wirehouse advisors, are interested in talking than we’ve ever seen,” Christian said in February. “So our pipeline going into ’13 remains very robust.”

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