Merrill Loses Private Wealth Veteran Rogers to Deutsche Bank
Michael A. Rogers, a longtime regional manager in Merrill’s newly christened Private Wealth Management business for very wealthy customers, resigned on Friday to join Deutsche Bank.
Rogers, who led Merrill PWM’s Mountain West region from Los Angeles and had been with the Bank of America-owned firm for 17 years, will join Deutsche Bank’s U.S. private banking unit in June to run its West Coast operations, according to a memo that the German bank’s U.S. wealth management head, Patrick Campion, sent internally.
Rogers, who one source said resigned as Merrill Private Wealth’s approximately 350 advisors were meeting in Los Angeles for their annual conclave, did not return a request for comment. The advisors, formerly known as Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group, serve clients with at least $2.5 million in investable assets, although Merrill says they aim for $10 million-and-above households.
A Merrill spokeswoman confirmed Rogers’ departure, and said the unit is searching for a replacement.
Rogers’ resignation comes two weeks after Bank of America rebranded U.S. Trust, its traditional trusts and estates unit for the wealthy, as Bank of America Private Bank. At the same time, it changed the name of the Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group (aka PBIG) where Rogers worked to Merrill Private Wealth in an attempt to distinguish the two groups courting the very rich. For advisers, the principal difference is that BofA Private Bank advisors are paid primarily by salary and bonus, while Merrill Private Wealth advisors get paid a percentage of the fees and commissions they generate, the typical pay structure for brokers.
The senior manager’s departure also follows a flurry of other exits.
Michael Armondo, who was head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s four-office Dallas complex of some 300 advisors, left last week to join Rockefeller Capital Management. The Rockefeller family-office unit last week also hired Jason Rich, a former head of recruiting for Merrill’s broad wealth management business, following its addition in December of former Merrill manager Anthony Grosso in San Francisco.
In Texas, Merrill replaced Vince Fertitta, Jr. as head of its broader wealth management business’s Mountain South division, giving his responsibilities temporarily to Jeff Markham, who continues to head the Thundering Herd’s West division.
Rogers’ move to Deutsche Bank caused some head-scratching among sources, given that the German-based behemoth sold its main U.S. wealth management business to Raymond James two-and-a-half years ago. (RayJay rebranded the business, its first aimed at “ultra-high-net-worth” individuals and families, as its Alex. Brown division).
Deutsche Bank continues to operate a traditional trusts-and-estates private bank unit in the U.S.
Prior to registering as a broker with Merrill in January 2001, Rogers was a private banker at JPMorgan Chase in New York and Los Angeles, and with Bank of America in Latin America, according to a short biography on a Merrill website. Rogers left Merrill Lynch in early 2006 for Morgan Stanley, but returned to Merrill after 15 months, according to his BrokerCheck record. Prior to his post running one Merrill’s eight PBIG regions, he was West Coast sales manager, his biography says.