Smith Barney has been hit with a few high-profile defections in the last month or so, as several large producers have taken their lucrative businesses to other firms.
Vincent Woo, a Los Angeles-based rep, recently moved his team to Oppenheimer & Co., according to the NASD database. An Oppenheimer representative did not return a call seeking comment on the hiring of Woo, who had garnered a strong reputation in his 10 years with Smith Barney. He joins Richard Wiseley’s office on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. Woo, who was unavailable for comment, is rumored to have $4 billion in assets under management.
In addition, Joe Biondo, who headed a team that specialized in customized portfolio management to high-net-worth clients, recently went independent from Smith Barney. Biondo, who was with Smith Barney for 11 years and had assets under management in excess of $400 million, opened Biondo Investment Advisors in Milford, Pa. (Biondo was unavailable for comment.)
Lastly, former Registered Rep. columnist Harry Pappas has switched firms, moving to Wachovia Securities from Smith Barney, where he worked for 17 years. Based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Pappas heads the Pappas Wealth Management Group, which includes a financial consultant, Casey Middleton and two registered account associates, Amy Davidson and Lisa Della Rocco.
The group “epitomizes the kind of knowledgeable and highly respected investment professionals who do credit to our industry, to our firm and to his clients,” said Jim Donley, president of Wachovia Securities’ private client group.