With its official exit from the Broker Protocol looming, UBS hired several teams overseeing approximately $1.4 billion in client assets.
In Indianapolis, James Schillaci, Kevin Johns and Brian Wenstrup left Merrill Lynch where they previously oversaw about $335 million and generated $2.3 million in annual production, a spokeswoman confirms. They report to manager Jon Ramey.
The team had been with Merrill since 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Prior to Merrill, they worked at Hilliard Lyons.
UBS also hired several advisors in Oklahoma City. Among those new hires are Drew Williamson, who had been with Merrill Lynch since 2008. He oversaw nearly $300 million in client assets and generated $1.6 million in annual revenue. He had been with Merrill since 2009, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.
Advisors Michael Holland and Zach Newby also left Merrill for UBS. They oversaw $568 million in client assets and generated $3.2 million in annual revenue. Holland had been with the firm since 1984. Newby joined Merrill in 2005.
Another pair of Merrill Lynch advisors ― both lifers ― joined the same office. Jay Edzards and John Cromling managed $321 million in client assets and generated $2.2 million in annual revenue. Edzards and Cromling had been with Merrill Lynch since 1988 and 1997, respectively.
They and the other Oklahoma City-based advisors report to manager Tommy Stacy.
These moves occurred prior to UBS's planned departure from the protocol on Dec. 1. The exits of UBS and Morgan Stanley, which left in November, have spurred speculation that another wirehouse may follow suit.
Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch announced cutbacks to hiring efforts, mirroring a similar policy UBS adopted in 2016.
A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman was unavailable for comment on the departures.