Recruiting deals are off and running in 2015.

Morgan Stanley (MS), Raymond James (RJF) and HighTower have started their recruiting year with a bang, adding teams in the East Coast and  in the Midwest.

On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley said the Stephans Van Liew and Oiler Group, an eight-member team focused on institutional consulting and private wealth-management, joined its Graystone Consulting office in Chicago from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) Private Banking and Investments Group.

According to Morgan Stanley, they were senior members of the Global Institutional Consulting Group, overseeing $6.5 billion in institutional and private client assets.

“This team is among the best in the industry at what they do, and will be an important addition as we expand Graystone in the Midwest and across the nation,” said Marc Brookman, managing director and head of Graystone Consulting, in a statement.

The group’s three senior partners — Managing Directors Linda Stephans, Kristina Van Liew, and Erik Oiler — have a total of 80 years of industry experience. Both Stephens and Van Liew worked for the Northern Trust Co., where they each were employed in senior roles for 19 years.

“The Stephans Van Liew and Oiler Group serves an exceptional roster of nonprofits, endowments, foundations, private and public corporations, ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices, and is highly regarded by these clients. We are pleased to welcome them to Graystone Consulting and Morgan Stanley,” said Kevin Forman, Chicago complex manager, in a press release.

Raymond James, HighTower Recruiting

Raymond James announced Tuesday that Raymond E. Ifert and Lorraine M. Faedo, who recently worked for a branch of BNY Mellon in Tampa, have formed an independent RIA and affiliated with its Investment Advisors Division. At BNY Mellon, Ifert managed the office and its $850 million in client assets.

“The three things that attracted us to affiliate with Raymond James are the firm’s name recognition, its financial strength and safety and its capabilities,” said Ifert, in a press release. “After looking into several custodians and concentrating on those three attributes, we found Raymond James to be the best fit.”

Ifert has worked in financial services for more than 32 years, including time at NationsBank and AmSouth Bank. Faedo previously was with Bank of America as an assistant vice president in the wealth management group.

“Raymond James’ independent RIA model allows for more independence and flexibility for advisors to serve their clients the way they know best,” said Chuck Curtis, director of the Central Region for the Investment Advisors Division, in a statement. “Ray and Lorraine are experienced industry veterans who are truly dedicated to putting their clients first, and we are pleased they chose Raymond James to be their full-service custodian.”

On Monday, HighTower said TC Wealth Management joined its wealth management partnership. The team oversees $550 million in client assets and is based in New York.

In addition, HighTower says it completed 13 transitions in 2014 and “is on track to exceed that number this year.” 

Formerly with UBS (UBS), J. Emmett Towey and J. Michael Cantore III are now partners and managing directors at HighTower. The team also includes director Michael G. Tobin and operations director Jennifer Doran from the Towey Cantore Group at UBS Wealth Management.

“TC Wealth Management joins an elite and growing group of financial advisors delivering world-class service and solutions to discerning clients on one of the industry’s most sophisticated platforms,” said Michael Parker, HighTower’s national director of enterprise development, in a press release. “New teams gain immediate access to resources including our proprietary Blueprint for Growth benchmarking study, which leverages data and insights from our top-performing teams to facilitate business growth.”

Prior to joining UBS, Towey worked at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Smith Barney (C); he has 20-plus years of industry experience. Cantore began his career at Citigroup Smith Barney, where he and Towey formed the Towey Cantore team before joining UBS in 2007.

“Joining HighTower gives us the flexibility to deliver even more sophisticated advice and higher quality investments to meet our clients’ needs,” said Towey, in a statement. “The combination of freedom and access is extraordinarily compelling to our team and our clients.”

— Check out Mariner Acquires RIA Vantage Investment Advisors on ThinkAdvisor.