Raymond James Reels in $2 Mln Florida Team from Merrill
A solo advisor who had built a $279 million book as a broker at Merrill Lynch and other large brokerage firms has left the wirehouse world to start his own practice affiliated with Raymond James Financial in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Brust did not respond to a request for comment about his move at his new outpost.
He had identified “technology and really strong support” as his priorities in deciding to go independent, according to an announcement from New Jersey recruiting firm Diamond Consultants, whose Allie Brunwasser and Barbara Herman helped Brust with the move.
A spokeswoman for Merrill did not respond to a request for comment.
Brust began his brokerage career in 1997 with Citigroup Global Markets, moved to Wells Fargo Advisors in 2006 and switched to Merrill in 2013, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
Merrill Lynch has frozen veteran broker recruiting in favor of promoting internal growth and training and hiring novice advisors with around 10 years of experience.
Raymond James, meanwhile, has upped its recruiting offers across its core employee channel and the Alex. Brown unit to as much as 240% of trailing-12 production at the high end from closer to 160%, executives said in a February call with industry headhunters.
In March, Raymond James’ Alex. Brown unit that caters to mostly high-net worth clients recruited an up-and-comer at Merrill who’s splitting his time between Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Raymond James’ headquarters office in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Raymond James ended 2020 with 8,233 financial advisors—59% of whom are on contracts in its independent channel and the remaining 3,387 who are employees. Total advisor headcount grew by a net 173 in calendar year 2020, but the employee channel lost a net 17 advisors since September 30 while the independent channel gained 11.