ON THE MOVE-Morgan Stanley hires adviser team from Merrill Lynch

Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:41pm EST

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Top U.S. brokerage Morgan Stanley Wealth Management said on Tuesday it hired a veteran team of advisers in California from rival Merrill Lynch.

Advisers Nikesh Kadakia, Joseph Pastore and Kirk Snyder moved to Morgan Stanley's El Segundo operation on Friday from Merrill, the brokerage owned by Bank of America Corp. They had an annual revenue production of nearly $1.3 million.

Kadakia and Pastore had been at their old firm for more than a decade. The advisers moved just up the street on Rosecrans Avenue from their old Merrill office to Morgan Stanley's Manhattan Beach branch, where David Fahey is branch manager.

Bank of America confirmed the departures, but declined to comment further.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the largest U.S. brokerage by client assets and adviser headcount. The unit is majority owned by Morgan Stanley and partially owned by Citigroup Inc.

The firm also recently hired former Merrill advisers Diane Alecci and Lynn Blanchard in Paramus, New Jersey.

Morgan Stanley is often neck-and-neck with Merrill in size, followed by Wells Fargo Advisors and UBS Wealth Management Americas. The four firms often vie for the same pool of top U.S. advisers.

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