Merrill Names Nevada Market Head, Loses Producing Manager in New Jersey
Merrill Lynch has named 27-year industry veteran Dufresne “Didi” Nicolas, who joined the wirehouse from rival Morgan Stanley in May 2018, to be its market executive for Nevada.
Nicolas, who will be based out of Las Vegas, could not immediately be reached for comment on the new role.
He replaces Daniel J. Greene, who moved to Texas to oversee a Downtown Dallas market that was overseen by Alan Fonner, a veteran manager who retired last year, the source said.
Since joining Merrill, Nicolas has also served as the interim market executive in both the Westchester Greenwich and Oklahoma markets, according to the memo.
He started his career in 1993 at PaineWebber Inc. and also worked at Prudential Securities and UBS Financial Services before joining Morgan Stanley in 2005, according to his BrokerCheck report. He moved into management at Morgan Stanley where he oversaw more than 20 advisors in two offices in the Hudson Valley in New York, according to Merrill’s memo.
A Merrill spokeswoman confirmed the memo but declined further comment.
Merrill has been shifting its managers’ responsibilities in recent years away from recruiting and focusing on its home-grown talent development and promoting its growth strategy. It has been elevating graduates from the 18- to 24-month leadership training program and hiring from competitors to fill gaps in its field management network from departures and retirements.
It last week separately lost a producing manager overseeing a satellite office in Westfield, New Jersey who had been generating $2 million in annual revenue along with a partner, according to two sources familiar with the move.
Francis E. Granizo, a first vice president and associate resident director, and broker Jennifer P. Kirby, who had been known as The Granizo Kirby Group at Merrill, joined Private Portfolio Partners, a registered investment advisory firm in Mountainside, N.J. on Thursday, according to registration records.
They had been managing around $250 million in client assets, according to the sources, and are calling their new practice Talisman Wealth Advisors.
Neither Granizo nor Kirby, who spent all of their respective 21- and seven-year careers with Merrill Lynch, returned requests for comment.
Private Portfolio Partners, which is based in Paramus, New Jersey, oversees around $518 million in advisory assets and custodies through LPL Financial.
Granizo and Kirby have allowed their brokerage license to lapse and are working as fee-only advisors, according to their BrokerCheck records.
-Mason Braswell contributed to this story.