Morgan Stanley Hires 2 Veteran Advisors

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Morgan Stanley has recruited two veteran advisors from Credit Suisse, making them some of the latest to depart the high-end brokerage firm.

David Atallah and Mike Cassa joined the wirehouse in Boston where they report to manager Joe Malarney. A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley confirmed the hires, but declined to comment on production and AUM.

Atallah and Cassa started their careers at Bear Stearns in 1994 and 1995, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Late last year, Credit Suisse signed a deal with Wells Fargo, giving the wirehouse a recruiting arrangement for its advisors. Credit Suisse has been undergoing a major restructuring and is exiting the U.S. wealth management market.

Wells Fargo offered advisors a retention bonus of up to 300% of their production, according to people familiar with the matter. However, the terms of the deal – including a 13-year term – combined with what some advisors view as a lackluster brand and platform have led many Credit Suisse advisors to sign with rival firms like Morgan Stanley, UBS and J.P. Morgan Securities.

In fact, UBS has recruited so many advisors from its Swiss rival that Credit Suisse responded with a raiding claim suit in FINRA arbitration.

Credit Suisse advisors are among the industry's elite, and other firms have engaged in aggressive recruiting in order to entice over top producers.

For example, an advisor who oversaw more than $2 billion in client assets passed on the offer to join Wells Fargo, opting instead for J.P. Morgan last month. Elaine Meyers, an advisor with about 20 years of industry experience, joined J.P. Morgan's office in San Francisco, where she reports to Robert Spawn, regional director.

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