ON THE MOVE-Ameriprise hires former Morgan Stanley broker

July 8 Tue Jul 8, 2014 5:18pm EDT

July 8 (Reuters) - Weeks after raising its bonus offers for top financial advisers, Ameriprise Financial Inc said it has hired one away from Morgan Stanley to join its Providence, Rhode Island, office.

John Poulton joined Ameriprise on June 27 from Morgan Stanley where he managed $125 million in client assets.

Ameriprise announced in June that it raised minimum signing bonuses for the top revenue-generating advisers to nearly $1.25 million from around $1 million.

Prior to upping its offers, Ameriprise recruited 77 new advisers during the first quarter of this year, and the vast majority managed under $100 million in client assets, a spokesman said.

It is unclear if Poulton received one of the recently raised bonuses, however he is the second Morgan Stanley broker in charge of more than $100 million in client assets to join Ameriprise in recent months.

On May 9, Christopher Knust, who managed $147 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley, joined Ameriprise's office in Omaha, Nebraska.

Poulton could not be reached for comment. Ameriprise announced the move last Thursday.

Knust, who previously worked for Smith Barney before it was bought by Morgan Stanley, did not comment on offers. He said he moved to Ameriprise in part because he thinks the firm reinvests more in its business than Morgan Stanley.

Knust acknowledged that Morgan Stanley's investment management business is the biggest in the field, with more than $725 billion in client assets, but said it had "become more difficult" to obtain reimbursement for some expenses.

"There's a greater investment in the business at Ameriprise and that directly and indirectly benefits our clients because (financial advisers) can focus on the things that we want to focus on," Knust said.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley confirmed Poulton and Knust left the firm, and said the brokerage continues to reinvest profit into its investment management business. (Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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