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Raymond James Adds 6 From LPL; Wells Fargo Grabs 5 From Morgan Stanley

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As the stock markets continue to hit fresh highs, advisors are hitting the road.

Over the past week, Raymond James (RJF) added eight advisors, including six from independent broker-dealer rival LPL Financial (LPLA), with a combined client-asset level of nearly $425 million and yearly fees and commissions of $2.2 million.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC) brought in five FAs from Morgan Stanley (MS). The new reps have a combined asset level of close to $530 million. Also, Merrill Lynch (BAC) said it added a UBS (UBS) team with $175 million.

On Monday, Raymond James’ independent advisor channel said Edward A. Metz, CFP and CPA, moved to affiliate with the firm in Randolph, New Jersey.

Metz, formerly affiliated with LPL, operates his practice as Money at Work, which manages some $150 million in client assets and had annual production of $1.1 million in 2014.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Ed and his team to Raymond James’ network of independent advisors,” said Scott Curtis, president of Raymond James Financial Services, in a statement. “We look forward to supporting them in serving their clients and continuing to expand on their success.”

Metz began his financial services career in 1992 with Your Money Matters Brokerage Services in Somerset, New Jersey, and moved to LPL in 1997.

“We chose to affiliate with Raymond James based upon its state-of-the-art technology, extensive research capabilities and superior back-office support,” he explained in a press release.

On Thursday, Raymond James said that TotalBank, a former LPL Financial-affiliated group in Miami, moved to its Financial Institutions Division.

(LPL Financial said last week that it was downsizing and reorganizing its Fortigent high-net-worth business.)

The new group is led by program manager Joel Palatnik and consists of five financial advisors with roughly $165 million in client assets.

“TotalBank is proud to be partnering with Raymond James, and we are excited about the opportunity to provide our clients with access to a broad array of financial options and resources,” said Luis de la Aguilera, president and CEO of TotalBank, in a statement.

Raymond James’ traditional employee-advisor channel added an ex-Commonwealth Financial team on Wednesday: Marta L. Shen, JD, CPA and CFP; and A.K. Mashhoon, CFP, CRPS, in Atlanta.

The team operates as Spring Street Financial of Raymond James. Shen and Mashhoon have managed about $109 million in client assets and had annual production of about $1.1 million.

“The culture at Raymond James and its more than 52-year history of comprehensive financial planning were big attractions,” said Shen, in a press release. “Raymond James offers advisors the ability to conduct BIO (by invitation only) visits with some of our clients and prospects, allowing them the opportunity to visit the home office and experience the firm’s culture themselves.”

Shen explained that “another tipping point” for her in making the move was the Raymond James Women’s Symposium, which she attended in 2014.

“I was aware of the network, but after getting to meet with successful women advisors and seeing firsthand the mentorship opportunities and lasting friendships within the network that transcended production, I realized that Raymond James was a special place,” she added.

After working for AIG as an attorney, the advisor cut her teeth as an FA at American Express, while Mashhoon began his financial services at Commonwealth eight years ago.

Wirehouse News

Wells Fargo says it has picked up five advisors from Morgan Stanley over the past week or so.

Jeffrey Katz moved to Wells Fargo Advisors in San Rafael, California, which is near San Francisco. He has managed more than $174 million in client assets and been in the business for over 30 years.

Mitchell Gravelle came on board Wells Fargo in Ballantyne, North Carolina. His asset base is about $100 million, and he has 17 years of experience.

Juan Ley and Tiffany Callahan have joined the firm in Tucson, Arizona, where they jointly manage roughly $214 million in client assets.

Frank Banks moved to Wells Fargo Advisors in Birmingham, Michigan. His asset base is nearly $40 million, and he brings nearly 15 years of experience to his new firm.

Merrill Lynch has announced that Michael Calvin and Guy Clayton moved to its wealth-management operations from UBS with over $175 million in assets in Lakeway, Texas, near Austin.

Wirehouse retention deals rolled out in January 2010 are expiring soon, according to executive search consultant Mark Elzweig. Due to this situation, market momentum and other factors, he expects recruiting to have “a banner year” in 2015.

— Check out First Allied to Partner With ‘Super-OSJ’ on ThinkAdvisor.