August 8, 2012 / 5:55 PM / in 6 years

ON THE MOVE-Morgan Stanley, UBS hire Merrill Lynch broker teams

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Two veteran teams of Merrill Lynch advisers have the left the brokerage, owned by Bank of America , to join rival firms Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and UBS Wealth Management Americas.

In Washington, D.C., advisers Matthew Zaft, Connor McKinney and Maria Fruciano joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney from Merrill Lynch, where they managed $220 million in client assets and generated $1.8 million in annual production last year.

The advisers, who moved in August, are based in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s K Street office, where Michael Maurer is complex director. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is the brokerage unit jointly owned by Morgan Stanley and Citigroup and is often neck-and-neck with Merrill for the spot as top U.S. brokerage by headcount and client assets.

Zaft joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney as a senior vice president of investments and senior portfolio management director. McKinney joined as a financial adviser and Fruciano as a senior registered client service associate.

In Oregon, advisers Mike Clancy, Brad Anderson and Steve Burch joined UBS Wealth Management Americas, the U.S. brokerage unit owned by the Swiss bank , from Merrill Lynch.

The team joined UBS in June and are based out of the firm’s Lake Oswego, Oregon office, where Antonel “Tony” Urdes is branch manager.

Anderson, who had been at Merrill Lynch for more than three decades, joined UBS as a senior wealth strategy associate. Clancy joined the firm as a vice president of investments and Burch as a financial adviser.

Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and UBS Wealth Management Americas are three of the four top U.S. brokerages and often vie for the same pools of advisers. Both Merrill and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney have around 17,000 advisers managing $1.8 trillion and $1.7 trillion in client assets, respectively. UBS has roughly 7,000 advisers managing $838 billion in client assets.

Representatives at UBS and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney did not immediately return requests for confirmation of the new hires, but regulatory documents filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority show the brokers switched firms. Merrill Lynch declined to comment on the departures.

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