Merrill Hires Another Early-Career Broker, Stifel Nabs Ameriprise Vet
Merrill Lynch, which last week lost a Florida team managing close to $1 billion to J.P. Morgan Securities, continues to counter its experienced-producer losses by hiring less expensive early-career brokers.Merrill reached into Morgan Stanley’s leaky Boca Raton complex in early July to recruit Girish Navare to its Accelerated Growth Program, a Merrill spokeswoman confirmed.
Merrill Wealth President Andy Sieg recently said the firm has no intention of re-entering the expensive “competitive recruiting” market, but has made hiring of early-career brokers with up to about eight years of experience a key part of managers’ bonus targets. The program offers advisers three years of a salary matching their pay at their old firm, in addition to a grid payout (conditioned on their hitting certain asset-transfer goals within about two years).
“They are aggressively going after those brokers,” said Michael Wasserman, a California-based recruiter who works with Merrill.
Another recruiter who spoke on condition of anonymity said managers are being incentivized to bring in at least one recruit a quarter, helping to offset some of its experienced advisor attrition, in numbers if not in production. (Merrill lost a net 71 advisors in the second quarter.)
Navare, who had worked at Morgan Stanley for almost four years, did not return a message for comment on his move. He is working at a Florida office managed by Merrill’s new newly relocated manager Willie Thomas.
Morgan Stanley also ceded three other advisers in the South last week to Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
Brad Jolly, Gary Williams and Robbie Walker, who were managing $61 million, $59 million, and $20 million respectively in their individual practices joined together at a new Stifel private client group office in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Jolly, Williams and Walker had been with Morgan Stanley for 13, 10 and seven years, respectively, according to their BrokerCheck histories.
Stifel also notched a sizable recruiting victory this week in Michigan.
Thomas Brehm, who was overseeing $127 million in client assets at Ameriprise Financial Services’ employee branch in Farmington Hills, joined Stifel’s branch in nearby Southfield, the firm said. (Brehm’s client associate Katie Lentz remains at Ameriprise.)
Brehm, who began his brokerage career with Edward Jones in 1989, had worked at Ameriprise for 28 years, according to his BrokerCheck history.
Stifel also said that it hired Boca Raton broker Christina Karas, who has spent the last 16 years of her 23-year brokerage career at Wells Fargo Advisors, earlier this month. Karas was managing $40 million in client assets, according to Stifel.
“We continue to invest in entrepreneurs who want to grow at a firm that’s committed to minimizing bureaucracy,” Stifel recruiting head John Pierce said in a prepared statement.
Last week, Wedbush Securities said it hired Frank Story, who was overseeing more than $100 million of client assets at a Stifel branch in Manhattan, to run its TriState Area market in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.