Morgan Stanley is finding success in an arena where Wells Fargo has recently been falling short: recruiting advisors from Credit Suisse.
Morgan has been enticing U.S.-based advisors at Credit Suisse's Latin American unit to transition their businesses – which represent about $36 billion in client assets – to the wirehouse by permitting the advisors to bring their deferred comp with them, according to a recruiter involved in several of the moves.
The sweetener, plus the promise of a smooth transition over to Morgan, has clinched deals with nearly all of the 35 advisors who collectively generate $125 million in annual revenue, Steve Rosen, president of recruiting firm Rainmaker Associates, told On Wall Street.
"In the next few months, we're going to see a majority of them working at Morgan Stanley," Rosen says.
By contrast, Wells Fargo hasn't had much success with a separate recruiting deal for Credit Suisse's U.S.-based advisors. Many have passed on the offer, partly because of a 13-year employment requirement that's far longer than the industry norm.
Some advisors have also had doubts that Wells Fargo could meet the same level of service that the ultrawealthy clients of Credit Suisse advisors are accustomed to.
At least 70 of Credit Suisse's U.S.-based advisors have made the jump to rival firm UBS. The wirehouse, which offered a more standard contract coupled with a generous 175% upfront bonus, is now defending itself against a raiding claim filed by Credit Suisse in FINRA arbitration.
Spokespersons for Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo declined to comment for this article.
A Morgan Stanley spokesman confirmed that Credit Suisse recruits are in the process of joining the firm, which has been a strong player in the market for Latin American clients. One team that already signed on, led by advisors Inigo Domenech, Fernando Villarreal and Alejandro Salvidea-Rello, began working for Morgan out of an office in Miami.
"We are committed to the Latin American business and look forward to building it with some very accomplished and successful advisors," the spokesman said.
Rosen says his clients and many other advisors from the Credit Suisse unit are far along in the process of making the move to Morgan, which involves lengthy due-diligence because of of the foreign assets involved. Rosen, who says he represents several advisors making the move, declined to name the recruits or give their AUM and production figures.
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