Merrill Moves: $441 Million-AUM Duo Leaves to Go Indie, Chase Private Client Advisors Hired in NY
(Updated to reflect the ex-Merrill duo went independent via an existing RIA)
As two Merrill Lynch veterans left to launch their own independent practice, the wirehouse hired a pair of JPMorgan Chase Private Client advisors into its Accelerated Growth Program, underscoring the brokerage’s continued focus on cultivating early-career and novice brokers.
The ex-Merrill duo had managed a combined $441 million when it left the wirehouse last month to start their new firm, Kickstand Wealth Advisors, in Pittsford, New York, according to a Wednesday announcement.
The newly-minted investment advisors, Chad W. Goodchild and Jacob W. Schlict, had spent their respective 19-year and 12-year careers with Merrill and let their brokerage licenses lapse to make the June 18 move, according to registration records.
Goodchild, who ranked 99th on Forbes’ 2021 list of “Best-in-State” wealth advisors, and Schlict, who ranked 115th on Forbes’ 2019 list of “Best-in-State” next-generation advisors, did not respond to requests for comment.
“By going independent, we can choose the best options for the clients we serve and have the freedom to explore new ideas and innovations,” Schlict had said in a prepared statement.
Joining Goodchild and Schlict at Kickstand are Devyn Squires, a wealth planner, and Christine Fusare, director of client services, according to the announcement.
They set up Kickstand via TruClarity Wealth Advisors, a Tampa, Florida-based registered investment advisory firm created in 2019 to serve as a ‘tuck-in’ affiliation model for wirehouse breakaways to join an existing RIA. Advisors joining TWA report their client assets to the Securities and Exchange Commission under a single Form ADV. TWA is a sister company of TruClarity Management Solutions, which offers advisors transition assistance and back-office service.
Separately, Merrill on Tuesday hired two JPMorgan Chase Private Client advisors in Melville, New York.
Peggy Mahoney, with 19 years’ industry experience, and Michael Cascio, with 16 years’ experience, had been private client advisors at Chase since 2012 and 2015, respectively, according to their LinkedIn profiles. They were hired into Merrill’s AGP offer, which the wirehouse launched in 2018 and is open to advisors with two to 12 years of experience, and provides qualifying early-career candidates a fixed salary with a traditional grid-based production payout, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Mahoney and Cascio both will report to Dwight Mathis, manager of Merrill’s Long Island East market region, the spokeswoman said. She declined to provide figures on assets under management or annual production for the pair.
A Merrill executive reiterated in April the firm’s commitment to driving asset growth among its existing salesforce and home-grown talent from its AGP as well as its community market hiring efforts in rural areas, even as it planned to selectively recruit more experienced brokers.
The wirehouse in 2020 hired 210 advisors through the AGP and community program and, in the first quarter of this year, another 57, a company spokeswoman confirmed previously. That was in line with pre-pandemic recruiting of 221 in 2019.