Merrill Taps Florida Manager Steve Alch for Southeast Division
Merrill Lynch filled out its wealth management field roster on Thursday, naming 19-year company veteran Steven Alch to manage 18 markets and some 4,400 employees as head of its Southeast Division.
Alch, who has never worked as a financial advisor, is a West Point graduate with a masters of business administration degree from the University of Texas. He joined Merrill in 2001 in a program training MBAs for field leadership, taking assignments in Baltimore, Tampa and Chattanooga before moving in 2011 to run its Central Florida market of nine offices and about 180 advisors, according to an internal memo and to his LinkedIn profile.
In keeping with Bank of America’s goal of cross-marketing loans and deposits to wealthy Merrill customers while keeping a tight watch on budgets, Alch will continue in his current role as Bank of America’s president for its Orlando, FL, market.
Alch replaces Eric Schimpf, another longtime Merrill manager and West Point alumnus who shifted last month to co-head a new advisor training program with an executive from the bank’s Merrill Edge no-frills brokerage business. (Schimpf also has a dual role, simultaneously running a new “advisory” division of brokers in geographies without BofA branches and of less experienced brokers hired from other firms.)
Merrill and other wirehouses have been straining in recent years to fill field-management positions as branch priorities have changed from recruiting to broker retention and meeting growth quotas. About 14 candidates, however, vied for Schimpf’s Southeast Division post that reports into Merrill Wealth President Andy Sieg, the company said.