Exclusive: Top Morgan Stanley broker departs for J.P. Morgan

A top Morgan Stanley broker who last year managed about $2 billion in client assets left the company's brokerage division on Friday to join J.P. Morgan Securities.

Adviser Jonathan Madrigano, who worked out of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management's Midtown Manhattan office, generated annual revenue of between $8 million and $10 million, according to sources with knowledge of the move.

"That level of production is eye-opening," because only a handful of broker teams with more than $1 billion in assets under management leave any big brokerage each year, said New York-based financial services recruiter Danny Sarch, who has worked in the industry for nearly three decades. "There aren't that many guys out there of that size at any firm across the country."

Madrigano managed more than $2 billion in client assets, according to a 2011 Barron's ranking of top financial advisers in New York.

He was a director of wealth management and a private wealth adviser at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, the company's ultra-high-net-worth group catering to clients with at least $20 million in assets.

Madrigano was a legacy Citigroup Smith Barney broker. He started at New York-based investment bank D.H. Blair & Co in 1989 and moved to Citigroup Inc in 2000, according to regulatory filings.

He joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, now known as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, after Citigroup's Smith Barney merged with Morgan Stanley's wealth business in 2009. During that time, many legacy Smith Barney brokers moved over to the new combined brokerage firm.

Regulatory filings show Madrigano has been registered with J.P. Morgan Securities, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co , since September 28. Neither that company nor J.P. Morgan immediately responded to a request for confirmation of the move.

Madrigano, who joined J.P. Morgan's Park Avenue office, ranks among the biggest departures from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management so far this year. At least 178 veteran advisers who managed more than $24 billion in client assets have left the firm so far this year, based on moves tracked by Reuters.

Reuters tracks the movement of individual advisers or teams that manage around $100 million or more in client assets, which typically translates to around $1 million or more in annual revenue production.

(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)