ON THE MOVE-Merrill Lynch lands veteran Morgan Stanley team

April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:43pm EDT

April 25 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch said on Thursday it hired a team of veteran advisers in Texas from rival brokerage Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Advisers Craig Massey and Mike Schmidt joined Merrill Lynch's private banking and investment group on Friday. The team, based in Houston, managed $1.1 billion in client assets and had an annual revenue production of $3.5 million at Morgan Stanley.

Massey and Schmidt, who had been with Morgan Stanley for more than a decade, were a part of the company's private wealth group, which caters to clients with $20 million or more in investable assets. The advisers serve both ultra-high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients.

Morgan Stanley, which owns a majority stake in Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, declined to comment on the departures. The brokerage is also partially owned by Citigroup and was formed from the merger of Morgan Stanley's wealth unit and Citi's Smith Barney in 2009.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch are the two largest U.S. brokerages by client assets and adviser headcount. The two are often neck-and-neck for the top spot and compete for similar veteran advisers.

Morgan Stanley said earlier on Thursday it hired former Merrill adviser Thomas McCann in La Jolla, California.

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