Morgan Stanley Smith Barney recently recruited a team of financial advisers from Wells Fargo Advisors, which followed a fine by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) over disclosure rules.
On August 20, Ben Dembin and Francis Schiavetti joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Boca Raton, Fla., office, according to Dow Jones. The team reportedly produces about $1.2 million in annual fees and commissions and manages $107 million in client assets.
Before joining MSSB, Dembin worked at Wells Fargo and its predecessor firm Wachovia Securities for nearly five years, while Schiavetti worked at the two firms for nearly four years.
The number of Morgan Stanley financial advisors — including those involved in the joint venture with Smith Barney — fell by about 50 to 18,087 during the second quarter of 2010 from the first quarter. It has the most advisors of the four wirehouse firms, topping Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo by nearly 3,000 brokers.
The Wells Fargo Advisors group includes 15,102 financial advisors and 5,094 licensed bankers with $1.1 trillion in assets under management.
In the second quarter, Morgan Stanley said that its global wealth-management clients withdrew net $5.5 billion, including net outflows of $7.9 billion in the United States and net inflows in overseas offices of $2.4 billion. In the first quarter, the wealth-management operations had net inflows of $9.3 billion.
The company’s total client assets of $1.5 trillion at the end of June were down 6 percent from the first quarter, but topped last year’s $1.42 trillion.
In early July, MSSB attracted two teams from UBS in New York and Canton, Ohio, for instance, while in late May it lost a Charlotte, N.C.-based team to Baird.
On August 10, FINRA censured and fined Morgan Stanley $800,000 for failing to make public disclosures required by FINRA’s rules governing research-analyst conflicts of interest.
“The firm also failed to comply with a key provision of the 2003 Research Analyst Settlement by failing to disclose the availability of independent research in customer account statements,” FINRA said in a press release.