Morgan Stanley Picks Off Merrill Teams in NYC, Florida Managing $4.8 Billion
Morgan Stanley on Friday landed Merrill Lynch teams managing about $4.4 billion in New York and $400 million in Florida, part of a hiring haul that added dozens of advisors and staff to its national roster ahead of the weekend, according to people familiar with the moves.
The New York and Florida teams cumulatively produced more than $10 million in the previous 12 months, and were led by longtime Merrill brokers.
Dunn and Fakhoury were among 400 Merrill brokers who qualified for a special award that Merrill Wealth head Andy Sieg established in 2017 to goose new client and asset growth.
Arthur Vale, another New York advisor who previously worked with the Meltzer team and now has a solo private wealth practice, also joined Morgan Stanley on Friday. He managed $1.1 billion in client assets, according to a recent Forbes ranking.
Meltzer spent all but two years of his 27-year career with the Thundering Herd, while Vale, Dunn, and Fakhoury have spent their entire advisory spans of 16, 12 and 10 years, respectively, with the Bank of America-owned wealth firm. Dunn’s father, Daniel, retired from Merrill two years ago and, like Meltzer, had worked earlier in his career at Lehman Brothers.
In Fort Lauderdale, FL, Morgan Stanley plucked a nine-person team led by Merrill lifers John Foreman and Austin Cook, who have been brokers for 19 and 12 years, respectively. Their team, which includes Foreman’s son David, generated about $3.2 million in revenue in the previous 12 months on about $400 million of Merrill client assets, according to four people familiar with their practice.
A veteran Merrill advisor in Florida said John Foreman has frequently made internal presentations on his group’s investment and team-management strategies.
Morgan Stanley’s Fort Lauderdale branch last September recruited the $1.5 million team of Steve Kaufman and Jeffrey Millikin from the Merrill office that housed the Foreman team.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed the New York and Florida hires, but declined to discuss other arrivals that several sources said were in the works as of Friday morning. Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer earlier this week said the firm has been revving up its dormant recruiting culture.
Merrill Lynch has experienced a steady outflow of veteran advisors in recent years, some of whom said they were frustrated with continuing pressure from management to promote Bank of America services and credit products to their investment clients.
A Merrill spokeswoman declined to comment, or to confirm Friday’s departures.
Merrill, unlike Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management USA, remains a member of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting that allows exiting advisors to bring client contact information with them when joining other Protocol firms.
Sieg has said that the firm has not actively recruited experienced brokers since 2017, but instead focuses on training internally and hiring novices.
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.