Wells’ FiNet, Morgan Stanley Nab 7 Merrill Reps

Plus, EP Wealth Advisors gains advisors from Schwab and Bernstein for its Southern California operations

Wells Fargo (WFC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) have recently attracted a total of seven advisors from Merrill Lynch with about $3.8 million in yearly fees & commissions and close to $750 million in client assets under management.

Six of the seven reps leaving Bankof America-Merrill (BAC) joined the independent-advisor channel of Wells, known as the Financial Network (FiNet), in Seattle with some $550 million in assets.

Advisor Jim Butler Sr., and his two sons, Jim Butler Jr. and Neil Butler, have about $1.3 million in production and more than $356 million in assets under management. They joined FiNet about a month ago, Wells said on Thursday.

Advisors Teresa Brokaw, Don O’Neal and Trent O’Neal made the jump to Wells’ independent channel in mid-April. They have roughly $1.4 million in production and manage $193 million in assets.

“We experienced one of our strongest recruiting years ever last year and additions like those of Butler Wealth Management and the O’Neal & Brokaw Private Retirement Group continue to show that quality advisors see Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network as a home for quality financial advisors whose priorities are helping their clients to succeed financially,” said FiNet President Kent Christian, in a statement.

Morgan Stanley Recruits

Morgan Stanley said Thursday it recuited Thomas (TJ) McCann from Merrill. McCann joined office of Morgan Stanley in La Jolla, Calif., and reports to San Diego complex manager Mark Kremers.

The advisor has yearly fees and commissions of almost $1.12 million and has managed client assets of more than $200 million.

(Morgan Stanley says its downtown San Diego office recruited David Rascoe from Wells Fargo in February. Rascoe has about $905,000 in annual production and assets of $80 million.)

In Boca Raton, Fla., Eric Behr moved to Morgan Stanley from Deutsche Bank. He has yearly production of roughly $1.2 million and will report to Michael Higgins, complex manager.

EP Wealth Recruits

The fee-based financial planning and investment management firm EP Wealth Advisors said it recently recruited two advisors. (The Torrance, Calif.-based firm has about $1.5 billion in AUM.)

Advisor Ben Porras moved to the group from Charles Schwab, while Sean Cartin came over from Bernstein Global Wealth Mananagement.

“As we continue on our growth trajectory, we are thrilled to have Ben and Sean join the firm and expand our presence in Los Angeles and San Diego, said Patrick Goshtigian, president of EPWA, in a statement.

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