MERRILL EXIT WOUNDS: More Advisors Flee, Choose Stifel In Texas

This is more than a theme or a drumbeat at this point. It’s a certified route. Merrill Lynch advisors have cashed their last retention bonus checks, huddled with transition legal experts, and then sprinted away from the BofA owned entity.

Another high-achieving duo exited recently: “Bart A. Reese, who spent all of his 27-year career at Merrill, and his partner Zachary R. Williams, who spent the last 15 years of his career at the firm, are opening a new Stifel office in Sugar Land, Texas. The two, who moved along with three associates, had generated $3.4 million combined in fees and commissions in the past year, according to a source familiar with their practice.”

Did you happen to see the “key point” in the above description? Let me replay it for you… “who spent all of his 27-year career at Merrill…”.

And the quote relayed by Stifel’s national head of recruiting is even better (be careful, cause it’s high heat!):

“We have crossed $10 billion in net new assets under management so far in 2019, mainly from financial advisors in bank-owned entity channels.”

Bank-owned entity channels. Therein is the foundation of the problem facing Merrill as its advisor ranks dwindle. And a larger percentage of the highest end producers are the ones that are leaving en masse.

 Culture folks. It’s about culture. recently

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