is adding to its brokerage business, paying $400 million to buy Advest Group from
The cash deal will add 515 brokers to Merrill Lynch's ranks and strengthen its operations in the Northeast and Florida. Advest is based in Hartford, Conn.
Advest's brokerage business also includes
, a money management firm with $3 billion in assets. The deal also includes
, the municipal bond firm founded by Jim Lebenthal.