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Merrill Lynch Team Jumps to Morgan Stanley

February 10, 2017

Morgan Stanley has nabbed a $602 million team of advisors from rival wirehouse Merrill Lynch, the Cincinnati Business Courier writes.

NRS Wealth Management, which manages money for individuals, institutions and family offices, will join a Morgan Stanley office in greater Cincinnati, according to the publication. Advisors Troy Neat, Jason Redpath and Steve Spaeth are also bringing along two senior registered associates and two financial advisor associates, according to the Courier.

Redpath, who along with Neat and Spaeth now serve as senior vice presidents with Morgan Stanley, had been with Merrill Lynch since 2001, according to the publication. Both the advisors and Morgan Stanley declined comment to the Courier, citing compliance reasons.

The two wirehouse rivals have been revamping their business structure in light of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which requires retirement brokers to put clients’ interests first and was scheduled to go into effect in April. Both companies have vowed to go through with their plans despite last week’s memorandum issued by President Donald Trump requesting the agency review the rule, which could signal a delay or an outright repeal, as reported previously.

But while Merrill Lynch’s plans include its November decision to stop offering commission-based retirement accounts, Morgan Stanley had opted to keep both commission- and fee-based retirement accounts but instead cut fees and implemented other changes it says are client-friendly.

Meanwhile, advisor production at Morgan Stanley surpassed Merrill Lynch’s by the end of 2016.

Morgan Stanley’s brokers brought in $1.01 million on average in last quarter, while Merrill Lynch’s average production continued its steady decline, slipping to $964,000 in Q4 2016.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Cincinnati Business Courier article cited in this story, click here.