ON THE MOVE-Merrill Lynch lands 10 advisers from rival brokerages

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:46am EST

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp said on Thursday that its Merrill Lynch brokerage had added 10 veteran advisers across the United States from rival units at Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Wells Fargo & Co .

The new hires, who joined Merrill in October and November, managed more than $1 billion in client assets at their old firms and had a combined production of $7.7 million in annual revenue.

In Kentucky, advisers Charles Mercer, Marguerite Rowland and Dowell Ryan moved to Merrill from UBS Wealth Management Americas, the brokerage owned by Swiss bank UBS AG. The team, based in Louisville, managed $265.3 million in client assets at the firm and generated $2.4 million in annual revenue last year.

In California, adviser Jeffrey Wells moved to Merrill from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the brokerage majority owned by Morgan Stanley and that has Citigroup as a minority owner. Wells managed $264 million in client assets and generated $1.5 million in annual revenue last year. He is based in Merrill's Mill Valley office.

In Connecticut, adviser Keith Ward also joined Merrill from Morgan Stanley, where he managed $136.3 million in client assets and had a production of $1.6 million in revenue last year. He is based out of Merrill's Greenwich office.

In Washington, D.C., adviser John Forster moved to Merrill from Morgan Stanley. Forster, who has worked in the advising industry for roughly three decades, managed about $110 million in client assets and generated $500,000 in revenue last year.

In Red Bank, New Jersey, Merrill added three advisers from Morgan Stanley. Raymond Abbate managed $102 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley, while Bob Reinert and Craig Reinert managed $92 million.

Also on the move, adviser Terry Schurman joined Merrill's Ponte Vedra, Florida office from Wells Fargo Advisors, the brokerage owned by Wells Fargo & Co. Schurman managed about $102 million in client assets.

UBS confirmed the departures but did not comment further. Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the departures.

Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Wells Fargo Advisors and UBS Wealth Management Americas are among the top U.S. brokerages by client assets. The four firms often vie for the same pool of veteran advisers.

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