Merrill Lynch is adding advisers who previously managed more than $500 million in assets, while UBS is bringing in advisers who worked with nearly $350 million — adding to a flurry of adviser movement at top brokerages after what had been a year of mostly anemic turnover. Industry watchers say the increased activity is being driven by high incentive packages, regulatory concerns, smaller retention packages and advisers' frustration with the bureaucracy at their firms.
Diane Padalino joined Merrill Lynch's Denver office last month after overseeing $325 million in clients' assets from The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Merrill spokeswoman Ana Sollitto said on Monday.
The brokerage also added two former Morgan Stanley Wealth Management advisers, John Molkentin and Denise Chin Quee, to its Miami office. The advisers manage $183 million in assets.
Meanwhile, UBS hired E. Gray Smith, III, a veteran Morgan Stanley adviser with $345 million in assets, who is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., spokesman Gregg Rosenberg said on Monday. Smith's team includes registered client service associates Toni Murphy and Laura Norgaard. They report to branch manager Irene Apgar.
Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Christy Jockle confirmed the three advisers' departures and declined to comment further. A Goldman spokeswoman confirmed Ms. Padalino's departure, but declined to comment further.
The moves cap recent scores for the wirehouse firms, including Merrill Lynch's hiring of four advisers overseeing a combined $533 million in assets under management earlier this month and Wells Fargo & Co.'s Private Client Group's addition of five advisers overseeing $966 million.