Greg Fleming's Rockefeller Capital is building up its Washington presence by luring junior talent and veteran advisers from the biggest wealth managers
- Rockefeller Capital Management is building up its Washington, DC, presence. The firm on Monday said Laura Pennington, who was previously a financial adviser with UBS, joined its DC office.
- As the war for wealth management talent heats up, the string of hires highlight Rockefeller's aggressive expansion outside its New York headquarters. It's also hired Los Angeles- and Atlanta-based advisers.
- The firm now has 20 adviser teams with 40 individual advisers, a spokesperson said.
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Rockefeller Capital Management is building up its Washington, DC presence with experienced hires from the likes of UBS and Merrill Lynch, as well as junior roles like registered client associates.
The firm on Monday said Laura Pennington, who was previously a financial adviser with UBS, joined its DC office. Pennington was with UBS for 11 years, according to BrokerCheck, and was previously with Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney earlier in her career.
Pennington produced $1.14 million on $261 million in client assets in 2019, according to a person familiar with the matter.
This month, Rockefeller Capital also added a client associate to support its financial advisors from Wilmington Trust, according to LinkedIn.
Rockefeller Capital formed its first DC-based wealth advisory team in September when it added five veteran advisers from Merrill Lynch, and three junior roles - client associates and an analyst all previously with Merrill Lynch.
That team generated about $4 million in fees on some $600 million in client assets at the wirehouse, a person familiar with the matter said.
The string of hires highlight Rockefeller's aggressive expansion outside its New York headquarters.
The four wirehouses - the massive full-service broker-dealers Merrill Lynch, UBS, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley - have all lost financial advisers from their armies of wealth representatives across the US to smaller firms, the registered investment adviser (RIA) space, or retirement.
The wirehouses have, for the most part, pulled away from recruiting experienced advisers and have instead poured more resources into their adviser training programs to bring up new advisers of their own as the industry grapples with an aging workforce.
More than 11,500 advisers, or about one-third of total adviser headcount, will retire over the next decade, according to report published on Tuesday by the industry research firm Cerulli Associates. Nearly a quarter of those retiring advisers are unsure of their succession plans, per Cerulli.
Rockefeller Capital, the privately held wealth and asset management firm affiliated with the 138-year-old family office of business magnate John D. Rockefeller, was formally created in March 2018.
Its chief executive Greg Fleming is well-known in the investment world; the Wall Street Journal referred to him in 2017 as "Derek Jeter's banker." Fleming was previously the president of Morgan Stanley's wealth and investment management businesses, and prior to that role was president of Merrill Lynch through the global financial crisis.
Rockefeller, which is backed by the hedge fund Viking Global Investors, has also announced hires in major cities including Los Angeles and Atlanta.
Chris Randazzo, the firm's wealth management, technology, and operations head, said in an interview with Business Insider last year that the firm had ambitions to grow to between 100 and 200 advisers over five to eight years. The firm now has 20 adviser teams with 40 individual advisers, a spokesperson said.
"We want to get an understanding that these advisers and their teams are going to be with us for the next 20 years," he said. "This is not a short-term decision. And that's a big differentiator in the marketplace. Other advisors who get recruited to other firms, they're typically on shorter time frames."
Randazzo, who was previously the chief information officer for global wealth management and investment management at Morgan Stanley, added: "We're never going to become thousands of advisers."
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