(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch has expanded its adviser force in New Jersey and Minnesota with two veteran hires from rival brokerage Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the company said on Thursday.
In Minnesota, adviser Mark Johnson joined Merrill as a senior vice president after more than two decades with Morgan Stanley. Johnson, who was named to Barron's 2013 list of top advisers, managed roughly $192 million in client assets and generated an annual revenue of more than $2 million.
He is based out of the firm's Bloomington office, where Mark Eckerline is branch manager.
In New Jersey, adviser Brian Moore joined Merrill from Morgan Stanley, where he managed roughly $113 million in client assets and generated an annual production of $660,873. He joined Merrill's Red Bank office, where Peter Ardolino is branch manager.
Moore, who has worked in the advising industry for nearly two decades, was based out of Morgan Stanley's Shrewsbury office. He had been an adviser with Citigroup's Smith Barney unit before joining Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the largest U.S. brokerage by adviser headcount and client assets, was formed out of the merger of Morgan Stanley's wealth unit and Citi's Smith Barney in 2009.
Morgan Stanley has a majority stake in the venture. The company declined to comment on the departures, which took place in late February.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch are the top two U.S. brokerages by size, followed by Wells Fargo Advisors and UBS Wealth Management Americas. The four firms often vie for the same pool of veteran advisers.
(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York, editing by G Crosse)
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