Merrill Teams Managing $850 Million Jump to Sanctuary, RayJay
Another Merrill Lynch team has shifted to independence by affiliating with Sanctuary Wealth Services, a broker-dealer for independent contractors founded two years ago by former Merrill regional manager Jim Dickson.
They are the second team in as many weeks to have joined Sanctuary from Merrill. The independent firm, an affiliate of Indianapolis-based broker-dealer David A. Noyes & Co., works with 33 brokers, many of whom came from Merrill.
Two weeks ago, Sanctuary added a father-son team in Colorado led by 22-year Merrill veteran Reinhold Wigand, who had overseen $115 million. Another two-person Merrill team in Walnut Creek who were producing $1.6 million and managing $275 million affiliated with Sanctuary last June.
“It has been our mission from day one to liberate advisors across the country who are frustrated by the constraints of the wirehouse environment,” Dickson, who ended his 19-year Merrill career as head of its Greater Midwest market, said in a prepared statement.
Dickson last year hired former Merrill Texas Mountain South regional director Vince Fertitta as president of the firm.
Kenny and Christiansen, who have been registered reps for 31 and 25 years respectively and who call their new firm Muirwood Private Wealth, joined forces in 2000 at Wells Fargo’s private bank and moved together to Merrill six years later, according to Sanctuary.
“As an independent firm, we can be more objective than in a wirehouse or bank and find the right solutions for clients across a much broader spectrum,” Christiansen said in a prepared statement that also applauded the open-architecture technology his team can subscribe to.
Sanctuary, which clears through a unit of Wells Fargo & Co., has financed some of its expansion with government help. It disclosed in a regulatory filing last month that it received a Small Business Administration “Paycheck Protection Program” loans as part of the CARES Act stimulus package. The loans are forgivable if used for payroll and other approved reasons.
“We believed it to be prudent to apply,” Sanctuary wrote in its ADV filing, without disclosing the amount it borrowed. “Our intentions are to use the proceeds of the PPP loan to maintain headcount and compensation, as well as to fund other expenses specifically permitted under the PPP.”
A Merrill spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on Dickson and Christiansen’s remarks.
Merrill stopped recruiting experienced advisors two years ago, and its brokerage force has sunk since then from almost 15,000 brokers to what insiders say is around 14,000 today. (Bank of America last year stopped breaking out the number of its Merrill brokers. As of the end of the first quarter, it reported 17,650 financial advisors across its private banking, Merrill Edge discount and traditional Merrill Wealth Management businesses.)
A $1 billion-asset team in Dallas, Tex., left Merrill two weeks ago to join Rockefeller Capital Management. They were recruited by Michael Armondo, a former Dallas complex manager with Merrill who joined Rockefeller last summer.
Separately, Raymond James this week said that the Florida-based Merrill Lynch team of Tim and Leslie Gross and Mike Brown, who were managing about $350 million in client assets, joined its employee channel in St. Petersburg. They arrived at Raymond James & Associates on May 28, according to their BrokerCheck records.
“It’s refreshing and impressive to see how senior leadership and various levels of management are so open and mindful of advisors,” Tim Gross said in a prepared statement. “We feel seen and appreciated, and it’s evident by how they treat everyone respectfully and genuinely.”
Gross had spent his entire 22-year brokerage career with Merrill, while his wife joined in 2000 after three years with Franklin Templeton, according to her BrokerCheck record. Brown began his brokerage career at First Union Brokerage Services in 1995, and joined Merrill in 2006, according to his BrokerCheck history.
In other moves, the father-son team of Vann and Hunter Doyle who had managed $200 million at Wells Fargo Advisors in Bowling Green, Kentucky, joined Stifel Financial in that city on Wednesday.
The elder Doyle had been with Wells for more than 13 years. He worked at UBS Financial Services/PaineWebber and predecessor firm J.C. Bradford & Co. for the first 18 years of his career. His son joined his father at UBS in 2004 and made the jump to Wells with his father in 2006, according to BrokerCheck.