ON THE MOVE-Disgruntled Wells Fargo team jumps to Raymond James

Reuters

By Jed Horowitz

NEW YORK, May 20 (Reuters) - Robert J. Wood, a financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors, said on Tuesday he jumped with two other brokers to Raymond James Financial in Richmond, Va., last Friday because of frustration over pressure to sell Wells Fargo & Co bank products.

His team, which includes Robert J. Wood, Jr., adviser Carlton Brown and an assistant, last year produced about $2 million of revenue, primarily from fees for managing stock and bond investments for about 200 client accounts, according to Raymond James.

Wood, 73, had been with Wells Fargo Advisors and predecessor brokerage Wachovia Securities, since 2003, the year Wachovia's bank parent bought a majority stake in Prudential Financial's Prudential Bache Securities.

"There was no bank pressure to do product when we were Wachovia, and now there is," Wood said in a telephone interview with Reuters.

Wood said his chief complaint is that the team had to forsake part of its potential bonus in the last two years that was tied to making loans. He balked at making loan referrals in part because lenders at the bank tried to take credit for having the prime relationship with the client, he said.

"Our (financial adviser) comp is very generous, and is based on best practices for doing what's right for clients," a Wells Fargo Advisors spokeswoman said in an email.

Wood also was upset because Wells failed to register him and some other brokers in Florida, where he lives for more than half the year. He was fined $22,500 in 2012 for operating in the state without a license. Wells paid, Wood said, but he now has a mark on his brokerage record at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Wood, who began his brokerage career at E.F. Hutton & Co. in 1985, said his son is now managing partner of the team. They chose St. Petersburg, Florida-based Raymond James because it is a more traditional brokerage firm that gives its advisers more autonomy than Wells, he said.

Wood had worked from the Wachovia's former headquarters in Richmond. After Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Corp during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, it moved the brokerage firm's headquarters to St. Louis.

The Wall Street Journal's website reported the team's move earlier on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Jed Horowitz; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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