The advisor said in a lawsuit filed on Thursday that Wells managers told him he could keep any unvested hiring bonuses if he agreed to leave his book at the firm when he retired.
The duo, who started within three months of each other in 1986, managed over $1.6 billion in assets, according to a source familiar with their practice.
The case marks at least the second agreement that J.P. Morgan has secured against large private bank defectors in recent months.
Rockefeller stepped outside its traditional wirehouse hiring pool, while Morgan Stanley returned to the Merrill well.
$3-million group is at least the fourth to have left from Merrill’s Fort Lauderdale market in the last year.
The wirehouse has an established track record for hiring advisors from private banks, but recently refashioned its offers by adding more to upfront loans, when they previously offered mostly guaranteed salary and performance-based awards, recruiters say.
Firms are likely to consider office consolidation and potentially reduce branch management roles while regulators are changing their focus to cater to a hybrid workforce, recruiters and consultants say.
A boat moving through waters near the Bahamas? A Harley-Davidson at the Sturgis motorcycle rally in western South Dakota? Or just beside your pool? In the remote era, the next frontier is still a question mark.
Dane Runia, whose team oversaw $2.95 billion in client assets at Merrill, had been part of the firm’s private wealth unit for ultra-wealthy customers.
Kevin Holt had overseen an office with $30 million in revenue in Manasquan, New Jersey, and made the shift along with three other brokers and two client associates, according to two sources.
The online bank scrapped regional business development and marketing heads while some of its RIAs adjust to their fourth custodial owner in five years.