Merrill Lynch rounded up 20 advisors managing more than $1.8 billion from rivals UBS, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Barclays, a Merrill spokeswoman said.

The majority of the new hires joined Merrill's Private Banking & Investment Group, which serves ultrahigh-net-worth clients. The advisors joining that elite unit managed about $1 billion in assets, a Merrill spokeswoman said.

Advisor Michael Margiotta, who joined Merrill from UBS, said in a statement that his wealthy clients need "a firm which could deliver a breadth and depth of brokerage and banking services unparalleled in the financial industry."

After considering several firms, Margiotta and his partner, Jerad Chao, settled on Merrill because the firm could best deliver on those services, he said.

The two advisors managed about $422 million in client assets and generated $1.9 million in annual revenue while at UBS, according to a Merrill spokeswoman.

John Thiel, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, said in a statement that he was "delighted" by the new hires.


Most of the new hires come from Barclays, which comes as a blow to Stifel, the St. Louis-based brokerage that recently announced a deal to acquire Barclays' wealth management unit. Stifel recently offered Barclays advisors a retention package comprised of 70% cash in the form of a promissory note and 30% restricted stock, according to documents seen by On Wall Street.

Under the proposed plan, advisors staying on once the acquisition is completed would receive incentives based their trailing twelve-month production in different product categories. For instance, an advisor generating $2 million in retail revenue would receive a bonus of 150% of their revenue derived from transactional and 50% of their revenue from syndicate revenue.

A Stifel spokesman declined to comment on the departures while a spokesman for Barclays could not be reached.

Among the new Barclays hires, Merrill said it picked up a team that generated $4.35 million in annual revenue and managing $384 million in client assets.
The team, comprising of advisors Michael Bono, Kenneth Kline, Andrew Pritsios and William Scott, joined Merrill's PBIG unit and will be based in Washington and Reston, Va. They report to Regional Managing Director Greg McGauley, as well as market executives Jeff Wood and Peter Ambrose.

Also joining in Washington are advisors Michelle Motsko and Michael Brodnik. They managed $280 million and generated $3.2 million in annual revenue, according to Merrill.

In Century City, Calif., former Barclays advisor Thomas Jackson joined Merrill and reports to Michael Rogers, regional managing director. In Boston, Merrill picked up advisors Patrick Delahunty, Timothy King, and Brian Kelly. And in Philadelphia, the wirehouse recruited advisors Rosalie Hunter and William McCormack for Merrill's PBIG unit.

Among its other hires, Merrill recruited UBS advisors Christopher Beckett and Stephen Yovetich in Century City, Calif., as well as fellow UBS advisors Derek Mohamed and Justin Merola in Wellesley, Mass.

In Rochester, the wirehouse grabbed advisor Nicholas Berno from J.P. Morgan. And in Madison, Wis., advisor James Lemon left Morgan Stanley to join Merrill.

Spokespersons for UBS, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

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