(Reuters) – A veteran Florida-based adviser from Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch has moved to rival brokerage Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, joining the firm’s Miami office.
Adviser Victor Camara, who had been at Merrill for more than a decade, joined Morgan Stanley’s Miami office in January. He had managed around $200 million in client assets while he was at Merrill, according to a recruiter with knowledge of the move.
Morgan Stanley confirmed that Camara joined the firm.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, majority owned by Morgan Stanley and partially owned by Citigroup, is the largest U.S. brokerage by adviser headcount and client assets. The firm is often neck-and-neck with Merrill for the top spot.
Wells Fargo Advisors and UBS Wealth Management Americas are the third- and fourth-largest U.S. brokerages, following Morgan Stanley and Merrill. The four firms often vie for the same pool of top advisers.
Morgan Stanley has added at least two other veteran teams from Merrill so far in 2013 – advisers Diane Alecci and Lynn Blanchard in Paramus, New Jersey, and advisers Nikesh Kadakia, Joseph Pastore and Kirk Snyder in El Segundo, California.
Reuters tracks the moves of veteran advisers and teams that managed around $100 million or more in client assets. By the same count, Merrill has added at least five veteran adviser teams from Morgan Stanley since Jan 1.
Bank of America confirmed Camara’s departure, but did not comment further.
(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York)