Michael Brown, a financial advisor at BofA with $5.9 billion in client assets, is heading to independent shop Dynasty, a new venture by former Citigroup wealth management head Todd Thompson. Brown ranked 28th on Barron's most recent list of the top 100 FAs.
Calls to both BofA and Dynasty were not returned before press time.
Brown's departure speaks to the continuing battle between traditional wirehouses and independent firms that court the former's FAs. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the biggest firms offered sweetened retention packages aimed at conserving headcount. From January 2009 through June 2010, more than 7,300 advisors have left the four largest brokerages, according to the Aite Group.
Thomson told Bloomberg that some feel that having a firm on one's business card has become a "disadvantage," insofar as the advisor will have to spend time reassuring the client about the firm's health. Independent advisors are increasingly capturing larger percentages of the market and are expected to reach $5 trillion in client assets by 2016. Dynasty, Brown's new home, wants to manage 1% of that.
The company is in talks to bring on 30 teams that manage more than $15 billion in assets. It will hand out loans to potential advisors who need to return retention bonuses at their old firms.
Write to Julie Steinberg