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Woodforest National Bank

Some Community Banks Find Recruiting Wins in Wells Fargo’s Headline Risk

Some community banks and credit unions are starting to reap the benefits of Wells Fargo's troubles, recruiting advisors coming out of the firm.

Wells Fargo is still mending its image following a sales practices scandal during which the bank opened accounts and enrolled clients in products or services without their consent. In its latest earnings report, the firm said its total advisor headcount was down two percent sequentially and three percent year-over-year. Community banks and credit unions are starting to reap the benefits, with an uptick in advisor recruits coming out of Wells Fargo, according to managers speaking at Raymond James Financial Services’ National Conference for Professional Development this week.

Melisa Lindsay, a manager in OnPoint Community Credit Union’s wealth management and investment services division, said she has hired two financial advisors from Wells Fargo recently.

While some big banks have just been getting hammered in the press lately, OnPoint has been viewed as the clean, local firm that won’t be in the headlines; that has definitely helped with Lindsay’s recruiting efforts. She tells advisors they won’t be embarrassed or have to apologize for working there.

Fred Greene, executive vice president and portfolio manager at Woodforest Financial Services, a subsidiary of Woodforest National Bank, said many wirehouse advisors are tired of seeing their firm’s name on the front pages and having to explain why to clients. Woodforest uses Raymond James Financial Services as its broker/dealer, so Greene stresses that affiliation when trying to recruit.

“You’re not going to see Raymond James on the front of The Wall Street Journal,” he said.

Greene says it’s easy to pull advisors out of the wirehouses, but you have to keep calling them on a consistent basis. That way when they are ready to make a move, they know who you are as a financial institution and what your story is.

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