Macquarie has acquired another advisor team from Richardson GMP.
The Moffatt Harvey group, led by Bruce Moffatt and Wynn Harvey, announced the change last night.
Both had been with Richardson GMP (formerly Richardson Partners) since 2005.
“These moves are in spite of our culture,” says Andrew Marsh, president and CEO of Richardson GMP. “Advisors are leaving for cheques. They’re large and aggressive enough that they’re overshadowing qualitative reasons to stay. I don’t think it’s more complicated than that.”
As for Macquarie, “We’re thrilled,” says Earl Evans, CEO of Macquarie Private Wealth. “And we’re receiving more and more calls from advisors. Their clients are looking for security of assets and a global perspective from people on the ground. If you don’t have analysts or bankers [all over the world], it’s very hard to do remotely.
“Clients aren’t interested in someone in a tower in New York or Toronto giving a view of what’s happening in China, Europe or India.”
As for how this need for global reach will affect other Canadian firms, Evans says, “If you’re a small regional player and your balance sheet isn’t in the billions, you’re going to find it very difficult [to compete].”
For Richardson GMP’s part, Marsh says, “With international firms like HSBC’s [full-service retail brokerage] leaving Canada, advisors like that we’re a Canadian firm with long-term commitment here. That’s also balanced with the attraction of equity ownership. We’re continuing to run a good business and we’re cash-flow positive despite market conditions.”
Macquarie Private Wealth now has 212 advisors within 165 teams, and has added more than 100 advisors in the last two-and-a-half years. It’s also gone from $6 billion in assets under management to north of $15 billion.
Richardson GMP has 160 advisors within 111 teams. In 2011, it hired eight teams and gained $1.4 billion in AUM, and lost 3 teams representing less than $200 million. This year, it’s hired four teams representing $500 million, including Calgary portfolio manager Garry McCulloch, whose book is $200 million.
“We recruit one team at a time, with at least $100 million in assets, and try to hire 10-to-15 a year,” says Marsh. “We’ve gone to $14 billion [in AUM] over the last eight years. We’re net gainers, and [any moves] are a sign of maturity in the business.”
Evans says advisors moving over have retained 90%-to-95% of their books. “I’d be surprised if Moffatt Harvey didn’t bring 95%-to-100% of their book over, because they own the book.”
Sydney, Australia-based Macquarie purchased Blackmont Capital on January 1, 2010 with an eye toward gaining a footprint in the Canadian wealth management industry. Since that acquisition, “nobody has walked out the door and gone to the competition,” says Evans.
The Moffatt Harvey Group is a family-office-style advisory group, and focuses on affluent business owners, executives and professionals, as well as family trusts and estates.
The group also includes associates Michael Sehmi and Maria Marrese.