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June 14 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co said on Friday it hired veteran advisers in six states from rival firms Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch and RBC Wealth Management to join its U.S. brokerage force.
The new hires, who joined in April and May, managed more than $1 billion in combined client assets at their old firms. They joined the private client group at Wells Fargo Advisors, the company's St. Louis-based brokerage business.
In California, advisers John Lyon and Jeannette Dobbyn moved to Wells from Morgan Stanley, where they managed $360 million in client assets. The advisers together formed the Lyon Dobbyn Wealth Management Group at Wells and are currently based in Anaheim, with plans to move to Brea.
In Illinois, adviser James Hunt also joined Wells from Morgan Stanley, where he managed $181 million in client assets. He is based in Wells' Chicago office.
Wells also hired former Morgan Stanley adviser Anthony Bavedas, who managed $109 million in client assets, in Westport, Connecticut, and adviser Brian Stahler, who managed $108 million in client assets, in Wichita Falls, Texas, also from Morgan Stanley.
In Missouri, advisers Peter Vrooman and Jonathan Sarver joined Wells from RBC Wealth Management, the U.S. brokerage owned by the Royal Bank of Canada . They managed $125 million in client assets and are based in Wells' Kansas City, Missouri, office.
In Massachusetts, adviser Philip Weber joined Wells' Hyannis office from Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch, where he managed $129 million in client assets.
Wells Fargo Advisors is the third-largest U.S. brokerage, following Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch. The top brokerages often compete for the same pool of veteran advisers.
RBC and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the departures. Bank of America did not immediately return a request for comment.