UBS grabbed a team from J.P. Morgan Private Bank that oversaw $5 billion in client assets, according to the firm.

Advisors Alli McCartney, Miguel Hennessy, David Wardrop, Jordan Mahaffey joined UBS in New York where they report to Chris Amo, complex director, the wirehouse said.

For UBS, the newest recruits follow on the heels of several notable pickups, including  a Morgan Stanley team that oversaw $950 million in assets, which joined the wirehouse last month in Melville, N.Y. Prior to that, UBS enticed away four Merrill Lynch advisors who managed approximately $870 million in assets. Those advisors opened a new UBS office in Gainesville, Fla.

However, these mega moves are occurring against the backdrop of a declining advisor headcount. At the end of the second quarter, the Swiss-owned wirehouse reported that its advisor force shrank to 6,948 from 7,119 for the year-ago period.

MEGA TEAM

This most recent grab ranks among the largest in recent years, recruiters say.

"I can't remember a number bigger than that," recruiter Bill Willis says.

However, it isn't clear if this was a sign that UBS' recruiting efforts have picked up pace.

Recruiter Danny Sarch, who recruits for the wirehouse and did not work on the most recent move, says that any hire takes time and UBS may have been "hot" when the recruiting conversation started.

"All these moves take months and months and months, and you don't know what the precipitating event is," Sarch says. "It's always more of a story of why these specific people left, and obviously, nobody knows the story or will tell you the truth on it, except for those individual people."

ELITE CLIENTELE

A UBS spokesman said that the advisors, who have previous experience at other wirehouses, work with ultrawealthy clients, many of whom are executives at financial services, technology and media companies.

Mahaffey and Wardrop started their careers at Merrill Lynch in 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. UBS says the duo worked in Merrill's elite Private Banking & Investment Group, which serves ultrawealthy clients. Wardrop moved to J.P. Morgan in 2008. Mahaffey made the switch the following year.

Before joining UBS, McCartney had been with J.P. Morgan since 2008, according to BrokerCheck records. She previously worked on equity and fund derivatives desks for Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman, UBS says.

Hennessy also joined J.P. Morgan in 2008. He previously worked in private equity, according to UBS. J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

An earlier version of this story reported the AUM incorrectly, based on information originally provided by UBS. The firm followed up by providing the current figure of $5 billion.

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