ON THE MOVE-Merrill Lynch adds 8 advisers from rival brokerages

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch said on Monday it hired eight veteran advisers from rival U.S. wealth management units at Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and the Royal Bank of Canada.

The new recruits, who moved to Merrill in November and early December, managed a combined $919.5 million in client assets at their old firms. They had $6.4 million in total annual revenue production.

In Texas, adviser Craig Weinstein joined Merrill’s private banking group from Credit Suisse Securities LLC, a division of Swiss bank Credit Suisse AG . Weinstein, who is based in Dallas, managed about $174.2 million in client assets and generated roughly $1.6 million in annual production.

Also in Texas, advisers Emory Ragsdale, Wade Myatt and Lynde Jackson joined Merrill’s College Station office. The advisers, who managed $151.6 million in client assets, came from RBC Wealth Management, a U.S. division of the Royal Bank of Canada . They generated $1.3 million in annual production last year.

In Michigan, adviser David Vallie moved to Merrill from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the brokerage majority owned by Morgan Stanley and partially owned by Citigroup. Vallie, who joined Merrill’s Grand Blanc office, managed $159.6 million in client assets and generated about $1.3 million in annual revenue last year.

Also from Morgan Stanley, advisers Christine Reilly, Dan Sandlin and Jason Lloyd joined Merrill. Reilly, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, managed $158.8 million in client assets. Sandlin, based in Chicago, managed $150.8 million, and Lloyd, based in Ventura Coast, California, managed $124.5 million.

The four advisers from Morgan Stanley were all formerly Citigroup Smith Barney advisers, who joined Morgan Stanley Wealth Management after the merger of Smith Barney with Morgan Stanley’s wealth business in 2009.

Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and RBC all declined to comment on the departures.

Merrill, which ranks among the top U.S. brokerages by client assets and adviser headcount, announced its 2013 compensation plan to advisers last Monday. The plan included stronger incentives to encourage advisers to take advantage of more of Bank of America’s offerings, as wealth management businesses are increasingly seen as a key revenue driver for many major Wall Street companies.