January 13, 2012

Morgan Stanley, UBS Grab Rivals’ Teams

As UBS gains a $1.4 million production group, MSSB adds eight advisors with about $18.3 million in sales.

UBS (UBS) on Wednesday said it grabbed two Morgan Stanley teams, one day after Morgan Stanley (MS) hired a UBS group as well as eight advisors from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Oppenheimer (OPY) with combined yearly sales of more than $18 million.

Such movement, experts say, is indicative of what the wirehouses could see going forward in 2012 as terms in retention programs introduced at the beginning of the recent economic downturn wrap up.

"As wirehouse retention packages continue to amortize, more advisors will opt for free agent status and hit the bid elsewhere,” said Mark Elzweig (left), a New York-based executive search consultant, in an interview with AdvisorOne.

“The mergers and management changes are now more than two years old, and advisors have given their new firms a look see,” explained Elzweig. Those who are dissatisfied will move elsewhere. It's going to be a busy year!" A group of three former-Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial advisors with yearly sales of about $1.4 million and assets of $200-plus million joined UBS’ wealth-management office in Paramus, N.J., on Wednesday.

The new UBS team now reports to branch manager Brian Cain. Its members include Mario Afram, Carl Ekroth and Harish Hashanani.

Another former Morgan Stanley team joined UBS in Encino, Calif., where it will report to branch manager Robert East. The team, which did not disclose its asset and production levels, is made up of Shawn Shafer, James Forsyth and Steven Miller.

Morgan Momentum

On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley said it attracted a UBS team with about $3.4 million in yearly revenues in New York. Jason Haberman, Robert Brevetti and William Collins joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's midtown Manhattan complex, where they report to complex manager Ben Firestein.

A team with some $2.9 million in production and about $470 million in assets moved from Merrill Lynch to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Birmingham, Mich.

The team members are Don Gill and William LaRosa, who now report to complex manager George M. Manuelian.

Scott Fortney and Grant Fortney joined Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management's Houston office from Merrill Lynch. The team reports to Arthur Kieval and has combined production of more than $8.4 million and prior assets of $885 million.

In Albuquerque, N.M., Morgan Stanley Smith Barney hired a former-Wells Fargo team that includes Clovis Martin, Edward Jordan and Antonio Almara. They report to complex manager Thomas Kovach and in the past have had combined annual sales of more than $2.4 million and assets of over $200 million.

Coming over from Oppenheimer to Morgan Stanley’s East 52nd Street office in New York is Robert Reuben, who is a $1.2-million producer managing about $104 million of assets. He reports to branch manager Dave Turetzky.

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