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Wednesday's Headlines: Merrill's top advisory team jumps ship for MSSB

A recent defection of the top advisor team to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is expected to create quite a shake-up at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Longtime Merrill advisor and managing director Harvey Kadden recently joined MSSB, followed by other "Circle of Champions" Mihir Patel, Randy Knopp, Tim Baker and Chris Barber. The team had a combined production of over $14 million in the last 12 months and managed more than $1 billion, according to Investment News.

The article quotes executive recruiter Mindy Diamond: "The numbers on these advisors are big but what makes this a huge story is that they're a high quality team making a move across the transom despite their retention packages. This will send shock waves through [Merrill Lynch]."

Other News:

Normura is discussing a $1 billion per year cost-cutting initiative focused on its European operations. [WSJ]

TD Ameritrade's quarterly profit jumped 44 percent on trading volumes and a doubling of new assets. [WSJ]

Deutsche Bank was hired by German utility RWE to sell its oil and gas exploration unit, valued at $10 billion. [Bloomberg]

Mining mergers are expected to continue. [Businessweek]

Hedge fund pay fell 10 percent this year, with portfolio managers and senior traders hit the most. [Financial News]

KKR plans to raise a new $6 billion fund next year to invest in Asia. [Reuters]

Genworth Financial's mortgage insurance business will either improve results or cease writing new coverage according to analysts. [Businessweek]

Former Goldman director and McKinsey global head Rajat Gupta was arrested on charges related to his hedge fund manager friend Raj Rajaratnam. [Reuters]

Massachusetts' Berkshire Hills Bancorp will buy Connecticut Bank and Trust for $30 million. [Hartford Courant]

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