Morgan Stanley Hires $2.6-Mln Merrill Lifers in Maryland
Morgan Stanley continues to stoke its ranks with advisors from Merrill Lynch, hiring two near Baltimore who had been with the ‘Thundering Herd’ for their entire 20-plus-year careers.
Blair and Della-Croce, who joined with client associate Jennifer Wade, did not return a call for comment. A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley confirmed the move.
A senior Merrill Lynch executive last week defended the company’s advisor retention numbers, saying some 80% of those who are leaving are frequent job-hoppers. Unlike Morgan Stanley’s return to recruiting experienced brokers after a budgetary halt, Merrill has been out of the market since 2017, relying on trainees and the hiring of novice advisors.
A spokesperson at Merrill Lynch, which in contrast to Morgan Stanley remains in the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, did not immediately return a request for comment on Blair and Della-Croce’s departure. Blair had been with Merrill since January 1999, and Della-Croce since October of that year, according to their unmarked BrokerCheck records.
Morgan Stanley resumed hiring veteran brokers last year after a three-year hiatus. A senior executive said last week that the firm’s “net recruiting” number was near zero for 2020, in contrast to net losses over many previous years when departures outpaced hires.
In December, Morgan Stanley hired a young solo producer in California from Merrill who had won asset-growth accolades and a pair of UBS veterans near Boston producing about $3.5 million. Morgan Stanley also attracted a 26-year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb in October who had been generating more than $2 million.
On the flip side, Morgan Stanley lost another two-advisor, $2.6 million team in Atlanta two weeks ago.
Richard Scott Phelan and Kevin T. Myers, who were managing $473 million of Morgan Stanley client assets, joined Philadelphia-based Janney Montgomery Scott on January 15, the regional brokerage firm said in a news release. The brokers, who were accompanied by their client associate, Cindy Hions-Dayoub, did not return a call for comment.
Phelan began his career in 1994 at New England Securities, according to his BrokerCheck record. He also worked at Lincoln Financial Advisors, Hartford Equity Sales and Edward Jones before joining Morgan Stanley in 2011, according to the database.
Myers began his career at Morgan Stanley in 2020, according to BrokerCheck.
Janney, a subsidiary of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, has around 850 brokers advising on some $97 billion in client assets, according to its website.
Morgan Stanley ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors—482 more than 12 months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Much of the increase came from the inclusion of more than 200 E*Trade advisors who work primarily from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.