Merrill Lynch has grabbed more advisors who had worked at Barclays’ U.S. wealth management division, luring them away before Stifel closes on a deal to acquire the firm.

A Houston-based team of five advisors who had been managing $750 million in client assets at Barclays joined the wirehouse, the firm said. The group consists of 40-year veteran Barry Schneider, Cris Bera, and Chris Dewhurst, plus two support staff members. They operate as Schneider Bera Dewhurst Group.   

“We were extremely impressed with everyone at Merrill Lynch and are confident that the platform will help our team service our clients’ financial needs exceptionally well,” said Barry Schneider. “Merrill’s total focus on the client, and how best to serve the client, is unparalleled.”

Barclays’s wealth and investment unit, with $56 billion in client assets and 180 financial advisors, is set to be acquired by Stifel in November. Merrill, however, has plucked about a dozen former Barclays advisors this month.

A Merrill spokeswoman did not disclose AUM figures for all of those new hires, but among the new recruits from Barclays was a team that generated $4.35 million in annual revenue and managing $384 million in client assets. The team, comprising of advisors Michael Bono, Kenneth Kline, Andrew Pritsios and William Scott, joined Merrill's Private Banking & Investment unit. They are based in Washington and Reston, Va., where they report to Regional Managing Director Greg McGauley, as well as market executives Jeff Wood and Peter Ambrose.

Schneider, 70, has extensive experience with institutional and ultrahigh-net worth clients. He started his career back in 1975 with Goldman, Sachs, and moved on to work at Salomon Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers, before he moved to Barclays in 2008.

Bera, 45, and Dewhurst, 36, also come from essentially wirehouse backgrounds starting their careers in Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers respectively.

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