Three UBS Brokers in Houston Join Two Independent Firms

October 17, 2019

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Three UBS Wealth Management brokers in Texas believed to be producing more than $3 million left for independence in recent weeks.

Donnie Dishaw, whose 24-year career included the last decade at UBS, walked out of its Houston-Galleria branch last Thursday to set up Texan Wealth Advisors, an indie practice affiliated with Wells Fargo Advisors’ Financial Network. He generated $970,000 in fees and commissions over the past 12 months on $110 million of client assets, according to two sources familiar with his book of business.

Dishaw, who worked at Merrill Lynch for six years before joining UBS, declined to comment on his motivations. He and his now-retired partner Michael Karchmer had focused their practice on “attorneys, privately held and public businesses, executives, retirees, affluent widows and families of children with disabilities,” according to their former UBS website.

Dishaw’s exit followed the departure last month of UBS President’s Club-level advisor Robert Harris from another Houston branch after 19 years with the wirehouse. Harris and fellow broker Sarahbeth Pipkin joined STA Wealth Management, a registered investment advisory firm in the city that manages about $1.3 billion, according to a regulatory filing.

Harris had generated over $2 million in annual production at the $700-million-asset Brown & Harris Group that he co-led as a senior vice president at UBS’s Town Centre One office, according to two sources. His partner Benjamin Brown remains at UBS.

UBS last month also lost two stock benefit plan advisors in Houston to Morgan Stanley, which said they had been producing $4 million and had joined its Private Wealth group.

Harris declined to comment on his move when reached at STA. Pipkin—who worked for her entire 11-year career as a registered representative at UBS— did not respond to a request for comment.  Brown, a 34-year UBS lifer, has teamed up with Town Centre branch manager Robert B. Bishop in the wake of Harris’s departure.

STA Wealth Management, formerly known as Streettalk Advisors, was formed in October 2002. It uses Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab to custody assets and execute trades for its clients, according to its ADV and regulatory brochure filings.

Harris and Pipkin chose STA  because of its ability to provide “a family office experience [and] the ability to have true open architecture access to more solutions that deliver the best value for clients,” the RIA wrote in a notice posted on LinkedIn.

A UBS Wealth Management USA spokesman declined to comment.

Harris began his brokerage career with a five-month stint Olde Discount Corporation, and also worked for two years at Merrill Lynch before joining UBS in Houston, according to his BrokerCheck history.

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