UBS recruits $920M team from Merrill Lynch

A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella while passing a UBS Group AG bank branch in Zurich, Switzerland, on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.
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UBS landed a Merrill Lynch team that oversaw $920 million in client assets.

The wirehouse’s new additions — Darrick Walker, David Leibowitz and Michael Muniz — joined the firm in its Walnut Creek, California branch, according to an internal company memo seen by Financial Planning.

Walker, Leibowitz and Muniz are industry veterans. Walker started his career at Chatfield, Dean & Co. in 1992, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Leibowitz started at Dean Witter in 1993, and later moved to Merrill Lynch in 1997. Muniz got his start in the industry at Merrill in 1999.

All three advisors worked at Prudential and Wachovia before transitioning to Smith Barney in 2006, and finally to Merrill Lynch in 2010, records show.

The team generated approximately $5 million in production at their prior firm.

A Merrill Lynch spokesperson declined to comment.

UBS has picked up several notable hires in California this year, particularly in its Northern California unit, which is overseen by market head Erin Borger.

In Walnut Creek, UBS hired Joshua Breeden as branch manager earlier this year, according to his LinkedIn profile and FINRA BrokerCheck. He had previously been with Morgan Stanley.

In San Francisco, the firm tapped Arnoldo Santiago to oversee its operations in the city. He joined UBS from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

While the Walker, Leibowitz and Muniz team is a big addition for UBS, it’s not the wirehouse’s largest hire this year. In August, UBS recruited a team from Goldman Sachs that managed $3 billion in client assets.

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