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Morgan Stanley hires UBS advisors with $800M, including two top-ranked women FAs

Morgan Stanley digital signage is displayed outside the company's headquarters in New York, U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Morgan Stanley is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 18. Photographer: Bess Adler/Bloomberg
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In a sign that Morgan Stanley is stepping up recruiting efforts, the wirehouse picked up several advisors from UBS where they collectively oversaw more than $800 million in client assets.

The moves also indicate advisors are more willing to make a career change following a recruiting slowdown due to the coronavirus.

Alexandra VanMeurs and Richard Nelson joined the firm in Houston while Kathleen Entwistle and her son Kevin signed on in Paramus, New Jersey. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed the new hires.

Morgan Stanley, which has not been a member of the Broker Protocol since 2017, had reduced recruiting efforts in recent years as have its rivals UBS and Merrill Lynch.

Recently, however, they’ve become “more competitive” in the marketplace for advisor talent, says recruiter Michael King.

The firm’s latest hires include two top-ranked women advisors.

Kathleen Entwistle has been ranked as a top woman financial advisor by Forbes and Barron’s, and was a member of UBS’s director and president clubs, according to her profile on UBS’s website.

Her career change is actually a return to Morgan Stanley, where she had worked from 2001 to 2007, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. She moved to UBS that year. In 2014, Entwistle joined the firm’s private wealth management business, a unit comprised of approximately 450 advisors catering to ultrawealthy clients and families, according to her profile on UBS’s website.

Entwistle said in a statement that she joined the firm in part for its "sophisticated solutions" to meet her clients' complex financial needs.

VanMeurs has also been featured as a top advisor on Forbes’ rankings, including its next-gen wealth advisors list. She started her career at UBS in 2007, according to BrokerCheck.

More often than not, wirehouses were on the losing side of these moves.
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Nelson, who began his financial services career in 2003, had been with UBS since 2009. Kevin Entwistle, who has four years of experience in the business, joined UBS in 2018, according to BrokerCheck.

They join a growing number of advisors who have made a career change in recent weeks as the coronavirus pandemic appears to ebb.

Advisor moves had ground to a halt when the outbreak started in March, King says. Still, even with a recent uptick, a return to normalcy may still take some time, King says. Impediments persist, such as brokerage offices remaining shut, ongoing economic upheaval as well as travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.

“Firms are willing to hire. Are brokers willing to move? That may take a little longer. [But] if they see people move, then they’ll be more willing to move,” King says.

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