(Reuters) - UBS Americas Wealth Management said it hired at least 14 veteran Merrill Lynch brokers who in total managed more than $2 billion in client assets at Merrill.

The new hires come shortly after UBS had placed a premium on brokers from Merrill, Bank of America's brokerage unit, by increasing up-front bonuses offered to those who signed before the end of 2011. That move came at the same time that Merrill brokers were about to receive the last of two big payouts on previous incentive plans.

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