Four Morgan Stanley advisers with $343 million in assets under management jumped to Merrill Lynch in the firm’s third grab from its rival this year, according to Merrill.

Michael Greenstone, John Araneo, Margie Manning and Anita Srivastava of the GAM group joined Merrill in a suburban New York City branch after 29 combined years at Morgan. Merrill announced the move this week, having added at least a half dozen ex-Morgan advisers in 2017.

Yet Morgan has recruited at least 10 advisers from Merrill so far this year. With 15,763 advisers, Morgan has 1,134 more than Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch, according to the two companies’ latest earnings reports.

The chart compares the number of advisers at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Merrill gained on its rival in 2016, growing its ranks by 129 advisers to 14,629 overall and shrinking the gap between the two firms by 18%. The GAM group started at Merrill's Glen Rock, New Jersey, branch on March 17, reporting to market executive Chandler Root in Paramus.

GAM group, Merrill Lynch
Anita Srivastava (back left), Margie Manning (back center), John Araneo (back right) and Michael Greenstone (front) left Morgan Stanley for Merrill Lynch.

“They have an optimal practice model built on helping clients achieve their goals,” Root said in a statement. “Our industry-leading platform and range of capabilities will help them meet the many needs of their clients and further grow their business.”

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley confirmed the team’s exit but declined further comment.

Greenstone began his career in 1980, eventually working at UBS for 16 years prior to his seven at Morgan, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Araneo started his career with Merrill in 1998, moving to UBS for eight years before coming aboard at Morgan in 2009.

Manning broke into the industry at Morgan in 1989 before going to Lehman Brothers for 12 years and Barclays for five. She joined the team at Morgan in 2014. Srivastava, a former economic consultant with the World Bank and Ramapo College of New Jersey professor, also started at Morgan that year.

Dara Hubbard, a client associate, moved to Merrill from Morgan with the team. Hubbard has worked in the advisory field for 15 years, mostly with the same team.

Merrill lost three different teams to Morgan, the largest wirehouse by headcount, in other moves last week. In February, three advisers with $602 million in AUM left Merrill for Morgan, and, in late January, Merrill lost an adviser back to Morgan after he had spent only four months at his new firm.

On the other hand, Merrill poached a member of the On Wall Street Top 40 Under 40 list, Keith Rowling, from Morgan earlier this month. Another broker with $850 million in client assets, Adam Schur, left Morgan for Merrill in January.

The Merrill wealth management unit reported over $2.1 trillion in client balances at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, roughly the same figure as Morgan clients. Morgan’s wealth management division reported profits of $531 million for the quarter, compared to $634 million for Merrill.

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