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Merrill Lynch loses $256M team to Ameriprise

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Ameriprise Financial poached a three-person team from Merrill Lynch that managed $256 million in client assets, the firm said.

It’s the most recent example of Ameriprise’s efforts to entice over talent from its larger wirehouse rivals.

The firm recruited 96 “top-performing, experienced advisors” during the third quarter, according to its most recent earnings report. Yet financial advisor headcount at 9,930 remained nearly flat year-over-year.

The Stiles, Miller & Clark Group, comprised of financial advisors Craig Stiles, Gregory Miller and Nathan Clark, joined Ameriprise’s employee channel in Lansing, Michigan. Also making the move are registered client services associates Karen Hill and Amy Wightman.

When surveying different firms over the span of a few years, the team sought stability amid an “abundance of changes across the industry,” according to a press release.

“We were looking for greater flexibility to evolve our business in a way that allows us to serve clients well,” said Clark in a statement.

Miller has 31 years of experience, 10 of which he spent at Merrill Lynch, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Near the beginning of his career, the industry veteran did a short two-year stint at the wirehouse in 1989 before moving to PaineWebber, which later merged with UBS.

Stiles and Clark have 17 and 13 years of experience respectively, according to BrokerCheck records. Stiles spent the entirety of his time with Merrill Lynch while Clark spent nearly a decade with the wirehouse after shorter stints at a number of firms including Raymond James.

A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch didn’t respond to comment on the move.

More than 400 advisors joined regional BDs last year, according to hiring announcements and BrokerCheck data analyzed by On Wall Street. The data does not include all hires.

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