Merrill Lures $300 Million Morgan Stanley Team -- Street Moves

By Michael Wursthorn Features Dow Jones Newswires

Merrill Lynch has hired two Morgan Stanley brokers who oversaw $300 million in assets, a move that comes as the brokerage reworks its recruitment deals.

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Brokers Will Sahlman and Greg Jones will join Merrill's Rockefeller Center office in New York from Morgan Stanley, where they had worked for more than eight years. Merrill said their $300 million in assets are spread across high-net-worth families, foundations, trusts and endowments.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed the brokers' departures, but declined to comment further.

The brokers joined Merrill just before the Bank of America Corp.-owned brokerage earlier this month instituted a temporary pause in recruiting from rivals. Merrill told some managers last month that it would develop a new incentive package to court the industry's biggest brokers, while also testing a pilot program focused on hiring brokers with three to five years of experience.

Brokers like Messrs. Sahlman and Jones, who were already in talks to join Merrill, haven't been affected by the recruiting pause.

Since Merrill told managers it would pull back from recruiting, the firm has said it hired more than a dozen brokers from competitors such as UBS Group AG, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley. Together, those hires oversaw more than $6 billion in assets at their previous firms.

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Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2008, Messrs. Sahlman and Jones had worked at Lehman Brothers for eight years.

Merrill has 14,484 brokers who on average generate nearly $1 million in annual fees and commissions.

Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 15, 2017 17:17 ET (21:17 GMT)