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Merrill Nabs $3.3B UBS Group in Chicago

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Merrill Lynch said Monday that a team from UBS has joined its Private Banking & Investment Group in Chicago.

Private wealth managers F. Michael Covey, Tom Kane and Mark Wiktor have formed the CKW Team. At UBS Private Wealth, they had $3.3 billion in assets under management.

Each of the team members was with UBS for close to a decade, after moving their practice to that firm in 2007 from Lehman Brothers. They now report to Regional Managing Director Brett Thelander.

Covey began his career as a CPA at Ernst & Young and has 17 years of industry experience. Kane has been in the business for 13 years and first worked for the McNally Family Office. Wiktor started out in the field 23 years ago and spent 15 years in the Private Investment Management Group at Lehman Brothers.

According to Merrill, the CKW Team is joined by relationship managers, wealth analysts and associates Jack Mullen, Mike Grande, John Pagliari, Nick Novak, Michael Majewski and Emily Taylor.

On Friday, Merrill Lynch announced today that Joseph Gabriele and Paul Vasady-Kovacs moved to its Rockefeller Center office from UBS, where they had $1 billion in assets and $7 million in production. The two advisors have worked together for nearly 20 years and have about 45 and 20 years, respecitvely, in the business.

“Joe and Paul run a tremendous, family-focused business for the ultra-high net worth,” said Michael Simonds, market executive, in a statement. “I am excited to welcome such an incredible team to the firm.”

The Gabriele VK Wealth Management team also includes Christian Martinez and Dana Shaker.

Merrill’s Latest Figures

Merrill Lynch currently includes 14,484 financial advisors and $2.1 trillion in client balances.

The Global Wealth & Investment Management unit, which includes Merrill Lynch, had net income of $770 million in the first quarter of 2017, up 4% over last year, as revenue grew 3% year over year to $4.6 billion “driven by higher asset management fees and net interest income, which more than offset lower transactional revenue,” the bank says.

Though the number of Merrill Lynch of advisors grew 72 from a year ago, the total figure fell 145 to hit 14,484 as of March 31.

Advisors’ average yearly level of fees and commissions hit $1.3 million per veteran rep, up from $1.25 million in the fourth quarter. Average advisor productivity for all reps stands at $1 million vs. $960,000 in the prior quarter. Merrill accounts hold roughly $2.2 trillion in assets. 

UBS Wealth Management Americas has 6,986 advisors. The average yearly fees and commissions (or production) per UBS advisor in the Americas stands at $1.174 million, while the average asset level is $165 million; the firms’ clients have close to $1.2 trillion in assets with the firm, up from roughly $1.1 trillion a year ago.

Rival Morgan Stanley, with nearly 15,800 FAs, said its average yearly production is $1.029 million as of March 30.

— Check out Merrill to Pay Fine Over Trading, Disclosure Issues on ThinkAdvisor.


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