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Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch lose advisors to Ameriprise

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Three financial advisors managing a combined $264 million in assets left their wirehouse firms for Ameriprise Financial Services, joining 72 other planners who moved in the second quarter, according to the firm’s most recent earnings report.

Karen Vibe joins the firm in Reno, Nevada, after a decade at Morgan Stanley. Also making the move is her client service associate and practice manager, Genevieve Cohoon. In August, Edward Walterhouse and Ryan Faris left Merrill Lynch for Ameriprise in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

Ameriprise is targeting advisors with wealthier clients as opposed to its traditional middle class client base, according to a 2018 Aite Group report on client asset growth.

Vibe’s practice oversaw $89 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley, according to Ameriprise. Her departure was prompted by the retirement of her sales assistant at her old wirehouse. “The timing was perfect to start at a new firm with a new assistant,” she said in a statement.

Vibe's clients include artists, physicians, athletes, retirees, professors and political activists and business owners, according to the statement. Many clients are members of the LGBT community and the planner is looking to curate a “culture of supporting women advisors,” according to the statement.

Vibe has 14 years of experience in the industry. Previously, she was with Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

When Walterhouse and Faris left Merrill for Ameriprise, they were joined by registered client service associates Amber Niedzielski and Gary Nucian. The Walterhouse-Faris Group managed approximately $175 million in assets, according to the firm. Walterhouse has almost 30 years of experience, including time at UBS and Citigroup. Faris has 16 years of experience, most of which he logged at Merrill.

Ameriprise currently has 9,951 advisors, according to its second-quarter earnings report, while Morgan Stanley has 15,633 advisors and Merrill Lynch has 14,690.

Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley did not respond to requests for comment on the moves.

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