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Merrill hires advisers from Goldman, Morgan Stanley

The company logo of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch is displayed at its office in Hong Kong March 8, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
The company logo of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch is displayed at its office in Hong Kong March 8, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has begun the school year by hiring a multi-million dollar private banker in Denver from Goldman Sachs Group Inc and a two-person broker team in Miami that had been with Morgan Stanley for 13 years.

The advisers, who joined the Bank of America-owned broker-dealer on August 30, together generated $3.2 million of fees and commissions from clients over the previous 12 months, according to a Merrill spokeswoman.

The Denver-based adviser is Diane Padalino, who had been with Goldman's private wealth unit since September 2006, according to a regulatory filing. Padalino's team joined Merrill's private banking and investment group of about 150 advisers. The team had produced $1.9 million since last September and oversaw about $325 million of client assets at Goldman.

Merrill generally requires its private banking clients to have investable assets of at least $5 million. Padalino's team has a minimum net worth requirement of at least $65 million for new clients, according to a 2011 report from consulting firm Tiburon Strategic Advisors. Its largest client has a net worth of $1.2 billion, the report said.

Padalino, who graduated from Binghamtom University in 1993, did not return a call for comment. She joined JP Morgan's debt capital markets trading desk in New York in 1996 and began working with wealthy individuals in 2001 when she transferred to JPMorgan's private bank and moved to Denver, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Padalino reports to Robert Johnson, who is in charge of the southwest region for Merrill's private banking group.

Goldman employs about 400 U.S.-based private wealth advisers and another 200 outside the United States, a spokeswoman said.

In Miami, Merrill hired the team of John Molkentin and Denise Chin Quee. They had been based in Florida with Morgan Stanley since 2000, according to regulatory filings. They produced $1.3 million in fees and commissions in the previous 12 months and oversaw combined client assets of $183 million, Merrill said.

They report to Carlos Torre, Merrill's senior resident director in Miami, a company spokeswoman said.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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