Merrill Hires Veteran Manager from Rival to Oversee a Connecticut Market
Merrill Lynch, which has been rotating experienced advisors and appointing training program graduates to fill field management roles, reached into a rival firm this week to fill a vacancy in Connecticut.
Lorenz touted Perhac’s credentials as both an advisor—she began her career in 1983 at Smith Barney—and manager. After nine years with Smith Barney, she moved to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter where she spent 20 years in asset management, retirement product and services and national sales, including in its investment consulting group.
“Sharon joins Merrill Lynch Wealth Management with extensive experience in our industry in both branch and product solutions management,” Lorenz said, noting as well her “nine years in production.”
Merrill last week promoted Courtnney McCarthy, a recent graduate of its “market executive leadership academy” who had no direct experience as an advisor, to manage the Providence, R.I.-based branches of its Coastal New England market.
Lorenz’ memo did not mention Perhac’s predecessor, but thanked the local management team in Hartford for filling in during what he called a “several-weeks” search.
Merrill in 2016 appointed Shamus O’Rourke to manage its Hartford complex, which it said had 135 advisors at the time. O’Rourke, a 26-year industry veteran who remains registered with Merrill, according to BrokerCheck, did not return a request for comment.
A Merrill spokesman said he could not immediately comment on the changes.
Merrill, Morgan Stanley and other large firms in recent years have been responding to an exodus of managers to independent firms and early retirement by moving experienced insiders regionally and locally.
Last month, it elevated a local advisor in Dallas, Robert Robles III, to manage its Galleria branch in the city. Merrill also named Steve Alch, a market manager in Florida, to oversee its entire Southeast Division—one of six geographic divisions whose heads report directly to Merrill Lynch Wealth President Andy Sieg.
Perhac, whose BrokerCheck record as of Friday morning did not reflect her shift from Wells Fargo, did not immediately return a request for comment on her reasons for moving. She had been with Wells since November 2012.
Wells has been trying to replace thousands of advisors who have left in the past three years following disclosure of the company’s fake-account banking scandals. In the last few days it gave its managers a new tool to fill empty desks—elevated recruiting bonuses for top-producing advisors that can reach 340% of their trailing-12 month production if they hit asset targets within three years.