June 4 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the largest U.S. brokerage, said on Tuesday it has expanded its adviser force in Florida with hires from rival brokerages Wells Fargo Advisors and UBS Wealth Management Americas.
Ricardo Kent joined Morgan Stanley’s Plantation, Florida office from Wells Fargo, the St. Louis-based brokerage owned by Wells Fargo & Co.. Kent managed $100 million in client assets at the firm and generated more than $1 million in annual revenue. He now reports to branch manager Giovanni Renteria and complex manager Billy Van Scoyoc.
Kent spent a decade at Wells and its predecessor firms, according to regulatory filings. A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo confirmed Kent’s departure but declined to comment further.
In Miami, Morgan Stanley hired Arturo Castelo Lopez, Jennifer Sierra and Marion Tettke from UBS, where the trio managed $375 million in client assets and produced $3.5 million in annual revenue. The team now reports to complex manager Kevin McCarty.
Lopez and Sierra joined UBS in 2009, while Tettke had been there since 2005, regulatory filings show. A spokesman for UBS declined to comment on the team’s move.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, which is minority-owned by Citigroup Inc., was formed out of the merger of Morgan Stanley’s wealth division and Citi’s Smith Barney in 2009. The combined unit created the largest U.S. brokerage by adviser headcount and client assets under management.
Last year Morgan Stanley lost several top adviser teams to rivals because of frustrations with the firm’s technology platform and cultural differences with senior management.
But speaking at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley wealth management head Greg Fleming said attrition is down throughout the firm, especially among the top 40 percent of advisers as measured by revenue production. That’s happened as wealth management has grown into one of Morgan Stanley’s core businesses, he said.