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Ameriprise grabs $333M Merrill team

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Ameriprise hired a Merrill Lynch trio that oversaw about $333 million in client assets, making them the latest wirehouse recruits to join the firm, On Wall Street has learned.

Advisers Jordan Plaster, Clark Scarvey and Harry Shumaker joined a new Ameriprise branch office in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a spokeswoman acknowledged.

Although its overall headcount dipped during the first quarter, Ameriprise has attracted a number of wirehouse recruits. Michael Rearden, regional vice president of the territory that the team operates out of, attributed this to Ameriprise's corporate culture.
"They are attracted to our client-centric culture and entrepreneurial support with services like marketing events, practice acquisitions and enhanced technology to name a few," Rearden said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Ameriprise said it picked up two Morgan Stanley teams that oversaw more than $500 million in client assets.

Those and other new hires, have replaced other loses or retirements at the firm, which reported on Monday that the brokerage force shrank again during the first quarter. Adviser headcount slid to 9,668 from 9,675 in the fourth quarter. It was also down from 9,766 in the year-ago quarter.

Still, adviser productivity has been rising, increasing to $529,000 per adviser from $510,000 in the year-ago period.
Of the three new recruits, Plaster has the most experience. He started his career at Merrill in 1993, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Scarvey and Shumaker began their careers at the wirehouse in 2005 and 2009, respectively, per BrokerCheck records.

A Merrill spokeswoman was not available for immediate comment.

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