ON THE MOVE-Wells Fargo lands veteran Morgan Stanley broker

Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:21pm EST

Nov 13 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co has strengthened its independent brokerage business in Vermont with a veteran hire from rival firm Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Adviser Bruce Scott Wilson moved on Friday to Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, or "FiNet," the company's broker-dealer catering to independent advisers who also function as business owners, Wells said.

Wilson managed $110 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley. A client base of that size typically translates to around $1.1 million in annual revenue production, according to industry recruiters.

Wilson, who had been an adviser at Citigroup Smith Barney, joined Morgan Stanley Wealth Management after the merger of Citi's Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley's wealth businesses in 2009. Wilson was based out of Morgan Stanley's Rutland, Vermont office. Morgan Stanley confirmed the departure, but declined to comment further.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co, which also has a traditional employee broker-dealer and banking division, has the third-largest U.S. brokerage by client assets, after Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch. UBS's brokerage business ranks fourth. The four firms often compete for similar teams of veteran advisers.

Wells' brokerage business, based in St. Louis, has more than 15,000 advisers with about $1.2 trillion in client assets among its brokerage subsidiaries. Roughly $55.5 billion of those assets came from its independent unit, which now has more than 1,100 owners and advisers in more than 540 practices.