January 14, 2013

Merrill, UBS Grab Teams From Morgan Stanley

Six veteran advisors jump move from one wirehouse to another in New Jersey

Two teams with a total of six financial advisors have left Morgan Stanley for rivals, just as the wirehouse firms rolled out several new twists to their advisor compensation plans.

One group left Morgan Stanley’s (MS) office in Short Hills, N.J., to join Merrill Lynch’s (BAC) operations and a former team member: James Rohmann and Steven Filiaci, who have combined fees and commissions of about $2.6 million and nearly $190 million in client assets, started at Merrill this week in Summit, N.J.

They are now working with a former team member from the Suburban Financial Advisory Group at Morgan Stanley, Francis Dunn, who moved to Merrill from Morgan Stanley in October 2012, according to a Merrill source. The three had been with Morgan Stanley, which is led by James Gorman, since 2006.

The combined asset level for the three Merrill advisors is $238 million, while their total annual production is $3.14 million.

“Our strategy is to attract the industry’s best talent for our clients and to size our advisor population to meet market opportunity,” Merrill Lynch said in a statement.

“Top advisors joining our company most often cite the strength of the Merrill Lynch platform and the broader capabilities of Bank of America, such as lending, as key reasons for joining,” the firm said.

Also, a team that included James Schwarz, Donald Rosenthal, Rachel Schwarz and Susan L. Fanburg and that had roughly $2.8 million in annual fees and commissions left Morgan Stanley for UBS (UBS), according to Morgan Stanley, which recently moved to cut its workforce by 1,600.

These four advisors had been part of the Short Hills Group at Morgan Stanley. James Schwarz had been with Morgan Stanley and its predecessor firms since 1962; Rosenthal joined Morgan Stanley in 1991, while Rachel Schwarz came on board the firm in 1994; and Fanburg became part of Morgan Stanley in 2000.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch will report its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Morgan Stanley will do so on Friday, while UBS makes its latest results public on Feb. 5.

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