(Reuters) - Ameriprise Financial has bolstered its adviser base in Florida and Indiana with two veteran advisers from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Fifth Third Securities.

The new hires, who both joined Ameriprise's employee division, managed $261 million in client assets at their previous firms. They are among the latest big recruits for the Minneapolis-based company, which has ramped up its recruiting efforts since the start of the year.

Adviser Richard Trotta joined Ameriprise on Friday in Florida from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He said an environment where advisers have easy access to top management was a big selling point for him.

"My sense is that they try to collapse this large organization by making it feel smaller by having it very high-touch," Trotta said on Tuesday, referring to greater personalized access.

Trotta said that he had the opportunity to meet with Ameriprise's Personal Advisors Group President Donald Froude several times before deciding to join.

An industry veteran with nearly three decades of experience, Trotta had been with Citigroup since 2005. He joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney after the merger in 2009 of Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit and Citi's Smith Barney. He managed $154 million in client assets at the firm.

Trotta joined Ameriprise's Palm Beach Gardens office. He reports to branch manager Frank Teodosio.

Ameriprise also hired adviser Doug Myers in Indiana. He joined the firm from Fifth Third Securities, a division of Fifth Third Bank, where he managed $107 million in client assets.

Myers, who has worked in the industry for more than a decade, joined Ameriprise's Indianapolis office.

Ameriprise has both a traditional employee division, which both Trotta and Myers joined, as well as an independent franchise channel. Ameriprise said on Monday it increased its employee division to 2,230 advisers at the end of March, a 6 percent increase from the previous year.

The company has an additional 7,500 advisers in its independent channel, and a total of $334.1 billion in client assets as of the end of March - also a 6 percent increase from the previous year.

Ameriprise's chief executive, Jim Cracchiolo, said in a statement on Monday that attracting more experienced advisers to Ameriprise was one of the company's "key priorities."

Over the past three years, Ameriprise said it has hired more than 1,100 experienced advisers from competing firms. Since the start of the year, Ameriprise has added advisers who managed at least $1.2 billion at their previous firms, based on moves tracked by Reuters. Those new recruits came from top U.S. brokerages, including Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo.


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