May 23, 2013 / 7:51 PM / 6 years ago

ON THE MOVE-Merrill nabs high-tier brokers from Morgan, Wells

NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - Merrill Lynch’s wealth management unit said it hired four teams of advisers from rivals Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Advisors since late April.

Ranked by total revenue produced over the previous 12 months, the biggest is Michael Dolle in Winter Park, Florida. He generated $1.67 million of commission and fees and earned fees on $160.2 million of client assets he managed at the Wells Fargo & Co. broker-dealer, according to a spokeswoman.

Merrill, a brokerage unit of Bank of America, also recruited former Wells adviser Lee Minks in Short Hills, NJ. He produced almost $983,000 in the previous 12 months and oversees about $104.1 million of client assets.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman confirmed the departures.

Merrill, whose branch network focuses on clients with at least $250,000 of investable assets, recruited its new Morgan Stanley advisers from the Midwest and West Coast.

In East Lansing, Michigan, it hired the three-person team of Steven Cross and brothers Peter and Steven “Casey” Bennington, who operated at Morgan Stanley as the Red Cedar Group. Cross, a 20-year veteran of Morgan Stanley and its Smith Barney predecessor, said he left two weeks ago in part because of technology issues related to the merger.

The team, which works with about 500 households, produced about $1.5 million in the past year and oversaw more than $240.8 million of client assets.

In Mill Valley, Calif., Merrill hired Morgan Stanley’s Conrad Branson. He brought in $1.0 million in commissions and fees and oversaw $98.4 million of client assets.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment.

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