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Merrill Grabs 6 Reps From Morgan Stanley, Others

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Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) has been recruiting a number of financial advisors from rival wirehouses, chiefly from Morgan Stanley (MS). Of the six advisors it recruited earlier this month, four were from Morgan Stanley.

Overall, the recruited reps have $713 million in total assets under management and $5.1 million in combined yearly fees & commissions.

In Century City, California, Richard Zinman moved to Merrill from Morgan Stanley in mid-November. The advisor has $104 million in client assets and $1.2 million in yearly production.

Zinman cut his teeth at UBS from 2004 to 2008 and then joined Morgan Stanley, according to FINRA records.

Also moving to Merrill from Morgan Stanley is Edward Viola in Paramus, N.J. He has about $83 million in client assets. Viola joined Morgan Stanley in 2005. Prior to that he was with Citigroup (1995-2005), Merrill Lynch (1990-1995), Prudential-Bache (1985-1990) and Bernard Herold (1983-1985), FINRA records show.

In Toms River, N.J., Christopher Carbone and Charles Sergewick left Morgan Stanley to come to Merrill Lynch in mid-November with $200-plus million in client assets and over $2 million in yearly production.

Carbone first worked for Morgan Stanley in 2009. Earlier he was an advisor for Citigroup (1993-2009), Lehman Brothers (1988-1993), E.F. Hutton (1985-1988) and Shearson American Express (1982-1988), his FINRA records state.

Sergewick started his career in the business at Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter in 1987, giving him a total of 27 years at the wirehouse, according to FINRA.

In the South, Merrill Lynch says it added two advisors “to meet growing demand for our services in these areas.”

Ricardo Guerrero moved to Merrill Lynch in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 7 with $100 million in assets and $904,000 in fees and commissions. Earlier, he worked for JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Jay Higgenbotham joined the firm’s Birmingham, Alabama, office in early November with $225.5 million in AUM.  He has generated $1 million in production at his prior firm, Raymond James & Associates (RJF).

Higgenbotham’s FINRA records state that he had eight settlements with clients from 2009-2010, one award/judgment against him worth $10,000 in 2002 and one customer dispute that was denied in 2013. The majority of the settlements concerned sales of unsuitable mutual funds.  

Merrill Lynch advisors had average yearly fees and commissions of $1.077 million as of Sept. 30, 2014, while advisors with Morgan Stanley’s average yearly production level was $932,000.

— Check out Schwab Attracting Advisors, Assets from Wirehouses on ThinkAdvisor.