July 31 (Reuters) - Brokerage Merrill Lynch says it has hired a team of former Morgan Stanley private wealth advisers who jumped from Barclays’ U.S. wealth management arm after working just four months at the British bank.
Matthew Celenza and Lawrence DiGioia, who joined Merrill earlier this month, had joined Britain’s Barclays PLC in March after about 11 years at Morgan Stanley and predecessor firm Smith Barney. At the time, the duo was part of Barclay’s broader expansion in the Los Angeles area.
Celenza and DiGioia generated $4.4 million of revenue in the past 12 months with clients holding $789.5 million in assets at the firm. Also joining are team members Linda Hayes, Andrea Shieh and Shannon Walker.
Barclays Wealth Management has for the past two years been on a hiring spree, adding hundreds of high net worth advisers to build on a business it acquired from the bankrupt Lehman Brothers in 2008.
But the British bank’s reputation has taken a hit in recent weeks over its involvement in a scandal surrounding the manipulation of Libor, a key benchmark interest rate for the financial markets.
Merrill, a unit of Bank of America, has been ramping up its own recruiting efforts after suffering a string of departures this year. At least 110 veteran advisers, managing more than $21 billion in client assets, left the brokerage in the first seven months of 2012, according to moves tracked by Reuters.
Last week, Merrill said it had hired seven advisers from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in late May and June, advisers who together managed more than $559 million in client assets.