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Merrill Grabs $2B Team From Morgan, Loses $800M Group to Janney

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Merrill Lynch said it has hired eight advisors from Morgan Stanley (MS) in the Northwest. The group has about $2.3 billion in client assets.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast, a group of five advisors, doing business as Seaport Wealth Management with about $800 million in assets, has left Merrill Lynch for Janney Montgomery Scott.

These developments follow Thursday’s news that the head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and its 14,400 reps, John Thiel, would step down at year-end. He is being replaced by Andy Sieg, now head of the Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America-Merrill (BAC).

The reps moving from Morgan Stanley to Merrill Lynch are Jason Weese, Mark Harris, Todd Kelly, Matt Bridge, Kristen Buxton, Alan Lubner, Jim Ferguson and Traci Bumpus. They are forming the firm’s new Private Banking & Investment Group office in Bellevue, Wash.

“We are delighted to welcome these advisors to Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking & Investment Group in the Pacific Northwest and believe that they will bring significant value to businesses and individuals here,” said Anthony DiBlasi, managing director for Merrill Lynch in Bellevue and president of Washington State operations for Bank of America, in a statement.

Merrill currently includes more than 175 specialized Private Wealth Advisor teams that focus on investment management, concentrated stock management and intergenerational wealth transfer strategies.

“The expansion of the technology sector, life sciences industry and venture capital community has created substantial demand for private banking and wealth management services,” said Tracy Murphy, regional managing director for the Private Banking & Investment Group in the Pacific Northwest, in a statement.

Janney News

Meanwhile, Philadelphia-based Janney Montgomery Scott said five advisors with over 100 years of combined industry experience are now operating as the Seaport Wealth group in Mystic, Conn. and in Janney’s current office in West Hartford, Conn.

The group, which formerly was affiliated with Merrill Lynch includes Ken Griffen, Paul F. Vaida, Royden A. Grimm, Barry J. Sulak and Jared W. Bloxsom.

“We’re excited to welcome the Seaport team and look forward to working together with them to help them deliver superior financial advice to their clients and continue their commitment in their community,” said Jerry Lombard, president of the Private Client Group at Janney, in a statement.

“Our size, stability, agility to adapt, and responsiveness to client needs combined with unprecedented home office support for our advisors’ businesses, we’ve become a destination for advisory teams who want to succeed in a boutique, regional environment,” Lombard said.

The Seaport advisors are members of three generations, according to Janney.

“For the past few years, my colleagues and I have been searching for ways to turn our business into something that we would proudly call ‘world class,’” said Vaida, in a statement.

“As we searched, it became evident that we needed to make a significant change. From there, we considered our options as a potential destination. The firm that aligned best with our needs—and the needs of our clients—was Janney,” he explained.

Janney currently has about 750 advisors with a total of rougly $70 billion in client assets. 

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