Merrill Hires Million-Dollar Producer in Beverly Hills
While denizens of wirehouses and their suitors analyze job mobility in a post-Protocol era, Merrill Lynch used its strength as a Protocol holdout this week to land a million-dollar broker.
Scott Madison, a 16-year industry veteran who works out of Beverly Hills and New York City, jumped to Merrill on Tuesday from Stifel Financial. He produced around $1.1 million of fees and commissions in the past 12 months from customers who kept around $150 million with Stifel, according to a person familiar with his practice.
Reached at his Los Angeles-area office on Friday morning, Madison said he moved without any associates, but declined to discuss his reasons for choosing Merrill. He had been with Stifel since December 2015, by way of it acquisition of the U.S. wealth management business of Barclays Capital.
The recent departures of Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting are likely to make it make much more difficult for rivals to attract brokers from those firms, recruiters and managers believe.
Merrill, which like its rivals has halted the conventional and expensive practice of recruiting many experienced brokers, was expected to join the “Prexit” outflow but last week expressed a tentative commitment to the pact. That may make it more vulnerable, since brokers who jump among Protocol signatories can take rudimentary customer-contact data with them without fear of being sued by their former firms.
Lin Edwards, who had been a Merrill broker in Dallas for 13 years and produced around $1.1 million, left the firm last week to become an independent contractor with Wells Fargo Advisors, the other wirehouse holdout still in the Protocol.
Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, has successfully convinced courts to restrain two departing brokers from immediately contacting their former clients since its Prexit, though the firms they joined were not in the Protocol.
Lawyers and headhunters said advisors they have spoken with at UBS and Morgan Stanley are wary about becoming test cases by joining Protocol firms. To successfully jumpstart their practices by calling former clients, they would have to persuade a judge that they are not beholden by non-solicitation clauses in employment agreements should their former firms come after them.
Madison began his career as a licensed broker in 2001 with Jefferies, and also worked at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) before joining Barclays in 2011. Michael Gordon and Jonathan Sopher, his former partners at Barclays, remain with Stifel, according to their BrokerCheck histories.