ON THE MOVE-Morgan Stanley nabs $1.75 mln Florida broker from UBS

NEW YORK, March 25 Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:56pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - The broker tug-of-war between Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Americas in Florida continued this month as veteran adviser David Behar jumped to Morgan Stanley after nine years with UBS.

Behar gathered $1.75 million of fees and commissions in the 12 months prior to his March 21 move and managed about $200 million of client assets, according to people familiar with the move. He was not part of a team at UBS.

The shift comes a year after two Morgan Stanley teams that together managed more than $2.4 billion of assets at the Aventura branch, jumped to UBS's office in the same city in March 2013. The partners were Allan Yarkin and Hank Boyce on one team, and Seth Ripple and Leonard Suskind on the other.

William Van Scoyoc, manager of the Miami-area Morgan Stanley branch declined to comment. Van Scoyoc, who has worked at Morgan Stanley and its Dean Witter predecessor for almost 20 years, himself spent two months at UBS in 2010 before being lured back to Morgan Stanley.

For Behar, the move is something of a homecoming. His first stint as a financial adviser was in 1999 at Smith Barney, the Citigroup retail brokerage that Morgan Stanley acquired in full last year. At UBS, Behar worked in the international unit in Miami and most recently at its U.S. financial services arm, also in Miami, according to his FINRA records.

A UBS spokesman declined to comment.

Separately, Albert Fox, Edward Penberthy and Joseph Dehn joined Morgan Stanley's Mount Laurel, New Jersey, office from Merrill Lynch last Thursday. They managed client assets of over $600 million when they left, and report to branch manager Richard Maratea. Fox had been with Merrill since 1994, Penberthy since 1996 and Dehn since 2000, according to FINRA records. (Reporting by Jed Horowitz; Editing by Leslie Adler)