First Republic Hires 4.3-Million Wells Team to Open Office Near Seattle

15 Feb    Investing News

First Republic Bank has hired a trio of Washington State advisors who had been generating $4.3 million in annual revenue at Wells Fargo & Co.’s private bank for its burgeoning private wealth brokerage unit, according to a person familiar with the move.

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Nichole Heidrick, Lynda Mauzy and Leigh Flor joined First Republic’s private wealth management division on Friday, part of a trend of traditional private bankers switching to firms that pay grid-based compensation. The pay formula can be more lucrative for successful brokers than the salary-plus-bonus structure at private banks. Merrill Lynch hired a $15-million private banking team from BNY Mellon on Thursday in California.

First Republic bestowed managing director titles on the new brokers, who oversaw $1.5 billion in client assets at Wells, the source said. They are based in Bellevue, Wash., a wealthy Seattle enclave.

The advisors did not return requests for comment on their move, which occurred at the start of a long holiday weekend that gives them time to reach out to clients, recruiters said.

Their move is at least the second this year of a billion-dollar-plus team to San Francisco-based First Republic. It recruited a 10-person J.P. Morgan Securities team in Florida producing $14 million last month, after hiring 10 multi-million dollar teams in 2019.

First Republic remains a brokerage boutique, with around 185 brokers, but it has been luring successful advisors with substantial signing deals and a grid that rewards high producers with increasing percentages of revenue collected. Well’s Private Bank, which caters to clients with $5 million or more in liquid assets, pays its bankers salaries plus bonuses, a traditional private banking model.

Heidrick, who was also a managing director at Wells, began her career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 2005 and moved to Wells in 2008, according to her BrokerCheck history. Flor, a Wells senior vice president began her career with the bank in 2005, according to BrokerCheck and their LinkedIn profiles.

Mauzy, who is not registered as a broker or investment advisor, was a senior investment strategist at Wells Fargo. She started her career as an equity research analyst in 1986 and worked as a portfolio manager at Key Private Bank and Parametric, a private family trust, before joining Wells in 2013, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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