Morgan Stanley Hires Merrill Lifer with $473-Mln Book in Illinois
While Morgan Stanley Wealth Management broadened its client base with its purchase of discount brokerage E*Trade Financial ten days ago, it continued its push to maintain its army of full-service brokers through a renewed recruiting effort.
On Friday, the wirehouse hired Karl Lorenz, a career Merrill Lynch veteran near Chicago who a source said produced more than $2 million in fees and commissions in the last 12 months.
The advisor, who joined Morgan Stanley with one of his two client associates, according to his new firm’s website, did not return a call for comment. He started his career at Merrill in 1994, according to his BrokerCheck record.
Morgan Stanley the previous Friday reached into UBS Wealth Management USA to hire Matthew R. Ricketts as producing manager of its branch in Napa, CA. Ricketts, who Morgan Stanley described in a press release as “a seasoned North Bay professional” in Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties, had earlier worked at Morgan Stanley for almost ten years before joining UBS in July 2008. He also had been a producing branch manager at UBS.
Neither Ricketts nor Walnut Creek complex manager George Schick returned calls for comment on Ricketts’ decision to move.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed Lorenz’ and Ricketts’ hires.
Their arrivals extend a revived national recruiting streak for the wirehouse following a retrenchment in 2017, the same year it attempted to stem attrition among its 15,000 brokers by withdrawing from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting that permits them to move with client-contact information. It hired two UBS producers in Florida with about $2.6 million in combined production earlier this month, and in September attracted dozens of brokers and associates with over $5 billion in assets in a single week.
“People aren’t worried these days about joining a firm that is not in the Protocol because they could still leave with a good prospect of keeping clients if they follow the rules [of their contracts],” said Mark Elzweig, a New York-based recruiter who does not work with the wirehouse. “Morgan Stanley has the same aging salesforce as everyone else, and can hire good people.”
A spokesperson at UBS, which has dipped its toes into the recruiting pond this year after retreating in 2016, declined to comment. In contrast to Morgan Stanley’s recruiting from traditional competitors, UBS has drawn most of its new recruits from private banks and asset management firms with small wealth management arms.
Merrill Lynch, the sole wirehouse maintaining a freeze on hiring veteran brokers, has been focusing on training newbie advisors and opening its brokerage force to Bank of America employees, including Merrill Edge advisors and client associates.
In another move out of Merrill, Donald Dearie on Friday joined Seventy2 Capital, an approximately $1 billion-asset independent practice in Bethesda, MD, affiliated with Wells Fargo’s Financial Network channel.
Dearie worked for nine years of his ten-year career at Merrill, and was managing $60 million in client assets, according to Thomas Fautrel, co-founder of Seventy2 Capital. Fautrel and business partner Paul Carlson worked at Morgan Stanley before starting Seventy2 almost four years ago.
In another wirehouse breakaway to an independent firm, Rajat Rajan—a broker for 32 years—left Wells Fargo Advisors in McLean, Va., two weeks ago to join New Jersey-based Gladstone Wealth Partners, an independent firm affiliated with LPL Financial.
Rajan oversaw about $125 million of brokerage, advisory and retirement plan assets at Wells, where he had worked for a decade, and joined Gladstone’s Financial Resources Group as an RIA on LPL’s corporate platform.
“This will be our first push into the D.C. metro market and in partnership with LPL, we continue our rapid growth in 2020,” Gladstone Wealth Partners CEO Richard Frick said in a prepared statement.
Frick was a former complex manager for Morgan Stanley in Philadelphia.
Rajan, who began his brokerage career in 1998 at UBS, began “evaluating options about two years ago after recognizing a need to take more control of his business,” LPL and Gladstone said in a news release.
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.