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Do Wells Fargo Advisors Own the Book?

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Sep 16, 2016 5:39 pm

I've spoken with an advisor who will be retiring from a Wells Fargo, and I'd possibly take over his role. I'm not currently with WF, and this is one of the 'old' WF outlets (not a converted Wachovia branch).

He has said that he "owns" the book. I would buy him out over several years. That's all fine, but I'd want to be sure that I then "own" the book (if I'm going to be paying for it and moving to WF from my current situation).

So that's the question: do WF reps simply own the book - you can take the clients anywhere you want without interference from WF? There's no risk that WF will do something goofy like split up the book or fire you and replace you with another advisor if you're not meeting whatever goal is important at the time?

Obviously, I'm skeptical that the book belongs to anybody except WF. This guy is a smart person and straight shooter, so I think he thinks it's true, but maybe we have a different definition of owning the book. But I don't know anything about WF or how things might be now vs. in the good-old-days, so...

How might I find out if I'd own the book? My concern is paying for something and not having complete control. Would the lack of a noncompete be an indicator?

Thank you!

Jan 11, 2017 2:29 pm


If he’s FiNet, you’re probably good.

May 20, 2017 1:15 pm

Yes and no. If you come to WF and buy his practice, the firm helps you finance it over a 3 or 5 year period. So to some degree, you're locked in with the firm at least until you've paid that off. Assuming that wasn't an issue and you eventually decided to leave the firm, all of your accounts would be reassigned to other advisors in your office.

Aug 23, 2017 7:06 pm

Outside of FINET no! The bank owns the relationship and PCG holds all the power to screw you down the road w pay cuts etc