Wells Fargo recruited advisor teams managing more than $1.1 billion in assets from its wirehouse rivals.

All the moves were made in California, where Wells has made a recruiting push to bolster its presence. So far this year, the firm has recruited advisors on the West Coast managing about $2 billion in assets.

Wirehouse executives attribute their recent successes to stable local leadership. Their targeted efforts to get advisors to switch firms, they say, are based on the region's growing wealth and favorable demographics.

"There are large pockets of wealth and there are a lot of baby boomers that are going to retire. It's created a planning opportunity," says David Altshuler, Wells Fargo Advisors managing director and market manager for Orange County.

Paul Vannuki, Wells Fargo complex manager in Los Angeles, adds that the firm's success is due in part to their high-profile new recruits.

"When their friends and colleagues hear their success, then they want to come and join as well. It's created phenomenal momentum," Vannuki says.

In the largest of the five most recent moves, a former UBS advisor team managing $479 million in combined client assets joined Wells in Seal Beach, Calif., a city south of Los Angeles. The team, known as MDC Group, is comprised advisors Jose Moreno, Michael Dye and Oliver Cervantes.

Moreno and Dye joined UBS in 1997, according to FINRA records. Cervantes also joined the Swiss-owned wirehouse in 1999, the records show.

Advisor Teresa Harmon, also joining Wells in Seal Beach, managed $244 million in assets while at UBS. Harmon is a 30-year industry veteran, having started her career in 1983 with E.F. Hutton.

Three ex-Merrill Lynch advisors left to join Wells in San Francisco. While at Merrill, the trio managed $142 million in combined assets. Senior team member Bruce Lin started his career in 2000 with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Patrick Chan had been with Merrill since 2011 while Michael Hartmeyer had been at the wirehouse since 2012.

UBS also lost two advisors managing $141 million in client assets to Wells Fargo in Fresno, Calif. Advisor Kate Eiland had been at UBS since 2004. Elise Kausen joined the wirehouse the following year.

In a fourth loss to Wells, UBS advisors Robert Rotstan and James Vale joined Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, the firm's independent channel, in Irvine, Calif., another city in Orange County south of Los Angeles. The advisors managed $95 million in client assets, and joined Bennett Greco Group, an existing Wells advisor team.

Rotstan is a 38-year industry veteran, having started his career with Merrill Lynch in 1976. He joined UBS in 2009. Vale also started at Merrill, in 2000, later moving to UBS in 2009.

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