In an unusual deviation from the recruiting protocol, UBS has sued an advisory team who went to Wells Fargo and apparently took more than their share of the firm's account information with them.
UBS says David Kinnear, Kathleen Bakas, and staff migrated "confidential trade secret information" when they moved.
Since the Swiss bank was one of the first to sign the recruiting protocol that protects migrating advisors who take their own clients' contact information with them, this seems to be a lot more than just copying the CRM files.
Not many details are available, but UBS wants FINRA to give its claims expedited treatment.
Maybe Kinnear, Bakas, and company took other UBS advisors' accounts or some other form of proprietary documentation -- training files? Procedures?
On their own, they generated about $3.7 million a year, which could translate to around $400 million in AUM.
UBS can definitely survive losing that. They've proved in the past that they're willing to let the assets move with the advisors -- after all, they tend to be on the winning end of the endless game of wirehouse musical chairs.
Let's watch this one. Whatever they took, UBS wants it back. And for the time being, recruiting from UBS may slow down, whether the recruiting firm is an independent RIA or another of the wirehouses.