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Merrill Lynch nabs $1B team from UBS

Despite a planned recruiting slowdown, Merrill Lynch continues to land new teams.

The firm's newest hires, who oversaw $1 billion team in client assets, come from rival UBS and follow on the heels of an equally large hire.

Advisers Joseph Gabriele and Paul Vasady-Kovacs joined Merrill Lynch’s New York office, the firm said. While at UBS, they generated $7 million in annual revenue, according to Merrill.

Gabriele, who was also once the CEO of investment firm Gabriele, Hueglin & Cashman, has been working in the finance industry for more than 45 years. For the last 10 years, he has been working at UBS. More than once he was named a top adviser by Barron’s and The Financial Times, a spokeswoman said.

Man walking past entrance Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London Oct. 9, 2014 Bloomberg News
A pedestrian walks past the King Edward Street entrance to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Financial Centre in London, U.K., on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Norway's sovereign wealth fund Norges Bank Investment Management, the world's largest, agreed to buy the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Financial Centre in London for 582.5 million pounds ($944 million) as it expands its bet on the U.K. capital. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

He spent 17 years of his career working at a Boston-based independent investment bank and brokerage firm, Tucker Anthony, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

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Vasady-Kovacs has been working at UBS for 10 years. Before UBS, he worked at RBC for 5 years, FINRA BrokerCheck records show. He has been featured in On Wall Street’s Top 40 Advisers Under 40 ranking three times.

Merrill Lynch, which has more than 14,000 advisers, also recently recruited brokers from JP Morgan. One JP Morgan adviser oversaw $1 billion in client assets. He is working in Merrill’s Latin America office. The other adviser managed $113 million in client assets. She is working in the company’s Austin, Texas office.

These new hires appear to have just skirted in before the firm's deadline to slow down recruiting. Merrill recently told its managers that it would be cutting back its hiring of experienced advisers by the end of May, according to people familiar with the matter.

Merrill's move follows that of UBS, which announced it would slash recruiting efforts last year. The company said it wanted to shift its resources from hiring new brokers to meet the needs of its current advisers. Morgan Stanley also made a similar announcement recently.

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