Goldman loses $10 billion wealth teams to rival banks

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. planned a hiring spree to ramp up the fees it gets from advising the wealthy. It got a reminder this week that it’s not alone.

Teams of advisers overseeing $10 billion in assets are leaving for rivals. A group headed by Denis Cleary and Gregory Devine with $6 billion in assets under management will move to UBS Group. Brian Zakrocki and Joe Wladyka, who helped manage about $4 billion, are leaving Goldman for First Republic, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.

Goldman has about $560 billion in wealth management assets under supervision, most of it catering to the ultra high-net-worth crowd. Under Chief Executive David Solomon, the firm known for trading and deal-making is heaping new focus on managing money for the wealthy.

It’s trying to do this as the world’s largest banks also vie for a greater share of the wealth created during the decade-long bull market. Wealth management units of nine of the biggest firms surpassed $100 billion in combined revenue for a third straight year in 2019. That’s driving intense competition among banks and boutiques for advisers who can bring billions of dollars in client assets.

Intense competition

“We have built an amazing private-wealth management business that today is the crown jewel in our wealth management franchise,” Eric Lane, Goldman’s investment management head, said at the bank’s investor day last month. “So how are we going to grow? First, we need to add more advisers.”

Mr. Lane said he thought Goldman could add 250 advisers over the next three years—a 30% increase from its current figure.

Wealth managers moving shop is far from rare, but departures from units that Goldman is leaning on for growth have been under the spotlight in recent weeks after high-profile exits in the technology and merchant banking groups.

Mr. Cleary and Mr. Devine’s team will maintain offices in Boston and Los Angeles, UBS said Tuesday in a statement. The group has clients in more than 25 U.S. states.

“Known for being one of the largest teams in the country under the age of 50, we’re proud to have them on board here at UBS to bring a differentiated view for our clients,” said John Mathews, UBS’s head of ultra high-net-worth Americas and private wealth management.

Spokespeople for Goldman and First Republic declined to comment on Mr. Zakrocki and Mr. Wladyka’s move.

UBS said last month that Wickham Cash Partners, which oversaw about $10.8 billion, joined its Charlotte, N.C., wealth management office. The group was previously part of Merrill Lynch.

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Written by Investors Wallets

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