ON THE MOVE-Morgan Stanley hires brokers from Merrill, Barclays

Mon Dec 3, 2012 5:54pm EST

Dec 3 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, one of the leading U.S. brokerages, said it has expanded its footprint in Florida, Ohio and New Jersey with hires from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Barclays Plc.

The advisers, who came mainly from Merrill and all moved in the last two weeks of November, together managed $778 million in client assets at their old firms and had combined annual revenue of more than $5.6 million, Morgan Stanley said on Monday. The additions help to partly offset major defections of veteran advisers from Morgan Stanley over the past few months.

In Miami, advisers Luis Fuentes, Christopher Fuentes and Rosario Hondermann joined Morgan Stanley from Merrill, the brokerage owned by Bank of America Corp, last Friday. The advisers, who managed $373 million in client assets and produced annual revenue of $1.97 million at Merrill, will report to complex manager Kevin McCarty, Morgan Stanley said.

In Ohio, advisers Brant Giere and Lisa Szucs joined Morgan Stanley from Merrill on Nov. 20. They had managed $210 million in client assets and generated $1 million in annual revenue at Merrill. They have joined Morgan Stanley's Akron office and will report to branch manager Jason Haines.

Also in Ohio, advisers Vince Costanzo and Rex Mack joined Morgan Stanley from Merrill, where they managed $115 million in client assets and produced annual revenue of $1.4 million. The team, which switched firms on Nov. 23, is based in Cleveland and report to branch manager Robert Hartmann.

Morgan Stanley also reported a new hire from Barclays: Howard Shallcross joined Morgan Stanley's Shrewsbury, New Jersey office on Nov. 23. At Barclays he managed $80 million in client assets and produced $1.2 million in annual revenue. Shallcross reports to branch manager Todd Sacks.

A spokesman for Merrill Lynch declined to comment beyond confirming the moves. Barclays couldn't be reached for comment.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, one of the largest U.S. brokerages by client assets and adviser headcount, was formed out of the merger of Morgan Stanley's wealth business and Citigroup Inc's Smith Barney in 2009.

The firm, a close rival with Merrill Lynch, had nearly 17,000 advisers and about $1.8 trillion in client assets at the end of the third quarter.