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UBS hires three MSSB advisers in California

By Ashley Lau

NEW YORK (Reuters) - UBS' Americas wealth management group has hired a team of three veteran Morgan Stanley Smith Barney advisers in California, the firm said on Wednesday.

Advisers Shawn Shafer, James Forsyth and Steven Miller are the third team of advisers UBS said has joined from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney since early December.

UBS also said last month that its U.S. brokerage hired four advisers from the firm in Rochester, New York and another three in Paramus, New Jersey. Those advisers managed a combined $578.5 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the largest U.S. brokerage.

UBS said it is not currently releasing the assets under management for team that joined in Encino.

Shafer, Forsyth and Miller, the recent recruits, had been with Morgan Stanley since the late 1990s.

The advisers now report to UBS branch manager Robert East.

Out of the nation's four biggest brokerages, UBS' Americas wealth management unit had the best experienced adviser addition-to-adviser defection ratio over the past quarter, based on movements tracked by Reuters since September 2011.

The brokerage division of the Swiss bank last year scored the biggest adviser move in the industry in 2011. Ajay Desai, John Staab and Frank Pellicori joined UBS in November from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where they managed $1.7 billion in client assets.

(Reporting By Ashley Lau)