Rockefeller Scores Hat Trick With Three Merrill Teams Producing $12 Million Combined
Rockefeller Capital Management stoked the recruiting fires Friday with three Merrill Lynch teams on both coasts, according to two well-placed sources.
In Olympia, Washington, it hired a six-person team led by Dennis Bloom and Lance Williams, both 28-year vets who had been generating $3.8 million in revenue from around $600 million in assets, according to the sources. They moved along with two other advisors and two support staff, the same people said.
In Newport Beach, California, Rockefeller hired a solo practitioner, Shirley Quackenbush, who had been generating $2.7 million in annual revenue and moved along with a client associate. Quackenbush, a 37-year industry veteran, according to BrokerCheck, had been overseeing $700 million in assets and was part of Merrill’s private wealth business serving ultra-wealthy customers.
Spokespeople for Merrill Lynch and Rockefeller did not return a request for comment.
The recruits bring to 57 the number of teams that Rockfeller has hired since the legacy family office of the Standard Oil founder recapitalized in 2018 with backing from venture capital firm Viking Global.
Rockefeller, led by former Morgan Stanley Wealth boss Greg Fleming, has been competing aggressively for multi-million dollar teams in part by leveraging its bench of former wirehouse managers and a pitch of more autonomy that appeals to more tenured brokers, recruiters said.
Lahoud, who reports to ex-Merrill and former RBC Wealth Management-U.S. recruiting head Michael Parker, began his career at Merrill Lynch in 2000 but sojourned to UBS for six years before returning to the “thundering herd” in 2013, according to BrokerCheck.
Lahoud has two disclosures of client settlements on his BrokerCheck record, both involving allegations of unsuitable recommendations. One settled for $16,000 in May 2017, according to the database, and another in August 2017 for $92,500.
Lahoud denied the allegations and did not contribute to the settlement, he said in a comment appended to the latter disclosure that also noted he would seek to expunge the claim from his record.
Separately, Lahoud was named in April as a co-defendant in a lawsuit brought against Merrill by a New Jersey resident Ana J. Thomas, who claimed that two sub-$5,000 college funds started by her grandfather in the 2000’s had generated more fees than returns by the time she took over the accounts in 2019.
Thomas on June 3 agreed to move the case to arbitration as required by account agreements, according to a federal court filing in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The broker did not immediately return a request for comment on the move or the case sent through LinkedIn.
On the West Coast, the Washington team of Bloom and Williams reports to Brian Riley, a former Merrill Lynch manager and recruiter for First Republic who joined in 2020.
Bloom is a Merrill lifer who started with the firm in 1992. His BrokerCheck shows one customer dispute from 2002 that settled for $216,000 of $400,000 requested.
Williams first registered as a broker at Merrill in 1992 but left after a month to serve stints at Essex National, First Interstate and Wells Fargo before joining Bank of America’s discount brokerage, which was later combined with Merrill, in 2003. He has no complaints on his record.
Quackenbush, who started her career at UBS predecessor PaineWebber Inc. in 1993, could not immediately be reached for comment. She reports to Nathan Crair, a veteran Los Angeles manager for Merrill Lynch who in 2019 joined Rockefeller as head of its Southwest Division. Crair’s division in April also landed a $3.6 million UBS team.
Quackenbush also worked for stints at Smith Barney, Kidder, Peabody, tech investment bank Hambrecht & Quist, and J.P. Morgan Securities before joining Merrill in 2003, according to BrokerCheck.
-Jake Martin contributed to this story.