Another round of high-profile recruiting in the wirehouses has left Morgan Stanley up and UBS down. But pay attention to the production numbers here.
Morgan Stanley has made a big deal of its willingness to cut less efficient advisors loose while courting only the biggest fish out there.
Granted, its recent success in grabbing Brad Nettune in New Jersey and the Rosenberg Group in Atlanta from UBS demonstrates that Morgan is going for scale.
Both groups have accumulated about $500 milion in client assets.
But in terms of returns on those assets, they're maybe average at best.
Nettune generated an impressive $3.3 million last year on his $500 million in AUM, for about 60 basis points in production.
The Rosenberg Group was much more efficient, generating $5 million from a slightly smaller client base for a full 1.1% in fees and commissions. (That's a pretty good argument for the team approach, right there.)
If the entire industry is shooting for a ballpark 1% a year, then it looks like these are really just more bolt-on acquisitions of more assets, more fees, more clients, more talent.
Admittedly, they're still impressive. The question is whether access to Morgan's infrastructure lets them boost their efficiency from here.