Following the high-profile move of a top team of Bank of America Merrill Lynch brokers to rival Morgan Stanley last month, Merrill Lynch bounced back on Wednesday with the announcement it hired a nine-broker team away from Morgan Stanley that managed more than $1 billion in assets.
Bruce Munster, 39, and his partners John Paffendorf, David Freeman, plus six others joined Merrill Lynch on Feb. 6 from Morgan Stanley where they managed $1.2 billion in assets and produced $5.8 million in revenues last year.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed the departures, but declined to comment further.
Munster's team joined Merrill Lynch's ultra-wealthy Private Banking and Investment Group in Century City, California. Munster's clients at Morgan Stanley included about 60 entrepreneurs, inventors, mergers and acquisitions professionals and wealth families.
Munster, who started his career 16 years ago at UBS AG, said in a statement that he joined Merrill Lynch because of the far-reaching capacity of Bank of America, calling the private banking and investment group all-stars.
"Bank of America can be a party to any sized deal, whether a client needs corporate finance, investment banking or M&A counsel."
Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, as two of the four largest securities brokerages in the United States, frequently poach top adviser teams from each other.
In early January, Morgan Stanley said it hired a team of eight brokers known as the Stephans Van Liew and Oiler Group away from Merrill Lynch, where they had managed $6.5 billion in assets.