Wells Fargo Sheds A.G. Edwards Executives While Reps Flee To Successor Start-Up

Sunday, August 07, 2011 20:43
Wells Fargo Sheds A.G. Edwards Executives While Reps Flee To Successor Start-Up

Tags: Wells Fargo

The timing here is evocative to say the least: Wells Fargo has jettisoned at least three longtime A.G. Edwards managers right at the moment when heir apparent Ben Edwards started aggressively recruiting.

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Wells Fargo has reportedly let Peter Miller, Michael Scafati, and Chuck VanGronigen go as part of a broader "streamlining" campaign.


Miller ran the advisor development group, Scafati headed up managed products, and VanGronigen was in charge of branch administration and operations. 


All spent decades at A.G. Edwards before Wells Fargo acquired that firm in 2008 as part of its buyout of Wachovia.


Scafati, the most senior, spent a stunning 39 years at A.G. Edwards back in its independent days, while both VanGronigen and Miller joined in the 1980s.


This is not surprising. We see this all the time when one broker-dealer buys another.


What's interesting is that Tad Edwards -- the great-great-grandson of A.G. Edwards himself -- just captured five advisors and at least one backoffice staffer with a long history at the family firm.


The advisors are all defecting under the leadership of Todd Leonhardt, who came to AGE in 1992 and started the Red Bank, NJ branch in 2005.


Benjamin Edwards also recruited retirement expert Theresa Fry, who ran the AGE distribution planning operation before the Wachovia acquisition, to come back to work in the home office.


Tad Edwards started the company three years ago.


Since then, it's grown to 18 branches across 12 states. At the moment, Brightscape lists 70 advisors and $615 million in AUM.


We'll probably see it recruit more aggressively from the AGE roster as time goes by.


With no little irony, Leonhardt said Edwards is "the perfect fit for us."


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