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Merrill Lynch Loses Veteran FAs to UBS

July 14, 2017

Merrill Lynch has lost several veteran advisors who collectively managed more than $1 billion to UBS, ThinkAdvisor writes.

Brian Meulebrouck, who’d been at Merrill Lynch for his entire 22-year career, and George Andres, who’d been with the wirehouse for half a century, collectively oversaw $220 million and produced $1.2 million annually, according to the publication. They joined UBS’s Birmingham, Mich., offices.

Meanwhile, the brother-sister team of Jackie Kunkel and Don Kunkel, who managed $755 million at Merrill Lynch, joined UBS’s Cincinnati offices, ThinkAdvisor writes. They had been at Merrill Lynch since 1988 and 2000 respectively, according to the publication.

And in Montvale, N.J., Merrill Lynch lost financial advisor Matthew Kraft and three client associates to UBS, according to AdvisorHub. Kraft had worked in Merrill Lynch’s private banking and investment group, whose clients have $10 million or more in liquid assets, the industry website writes. Kraft had been with the wirehouse during his entire 21-year career as an advisor in a practice founded by his father and generated about $3 million in fees and revenue over the past year, sources tell AdvisorHub.

Merrill Lynch has lost several large brokers in recent weeks. An advisor who oversaw $1 billion and had been with Merrill Lynch for six years went independent earlier this week, partnering with Dynasty Financial Partners. Earlier in July two senior advisors left Merrill Lynch for First Republic Private Wealth Management. Raymond James has also picked off several Merrill Lynch brokers since March who collectively oversaw $1.6 billion.

UBS, however, has lost several top producers recently as well. In June a team managing $3.5 billion left for Raymond James. UBS also lost advisors to First Republic Bank Wealth Management and Ameriprise, and several UBS reps have gone independent with Dynasty.

(Getty)

UBS told its retirement account advisors recently that they will only get paid based on assets under management but no longer on product fees and commissions. The move came just days before the June 9 partial implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which purports to require retirement account advisors to put clients' interests first and disclose conflicts of interest. Merrill Lynch, meanwhile, had announced in October it would no longer offer commission-based individual retirement accounts, although it’s eased its stance since then. Not all firms have taken the stance: Raymond James and Morgan Stanley, for example, have opted to let their brokers charge commissions in retirement accounts under the DOL rule’s so-called best interest contract exemption.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.