Sanctuary, First Republic Add Merrill Brokers in Texas and California
Independent broker-dealer Sanctuary Wealth and First Republic Bank each tapped Merrill Lynch on Friday for veteran broker recruits in Texas and California.
In the larger of the moves, Sanctuary Wealth added three brokers who had been overseeing $400 million in client assets in San Antonio, according to an announcement. The group includes advisors Bradley W. Johnson, Randolph “Randy” Daniels and Jonathan Klug, as well as support staff Martha Ortega, the announcement said. At Merrill, the team had been producing $2.1 million in annual revenue, according to a Sanctuary spokeswoman.
In moving to Sanctuary, Johnson and Daniels are for a second time following Vince Fertitta, their former manager. Fertitta, a former Merrill regional management who since 2019 has been president at Sanctuary, said in a statement had hired them once before when he was a manager at Merrill Lynch.
“I know Randy, Brad and Jonathan incredibly well,” Fertitta said in a prepared statement. “They have long wanted the flexibility to provide the best solutions to clients without any outside interference or the need to answer to anyone other than their clients.”
Johnson joined Merrill in 2011 from San Antonio-based Frost Brokerage Services, where he began his career in 2005, according to BrokerCheck. Daniels began his brokerage career at Merrill in 2012, according to the database. Klug started at Waddell & Reed in 2007 but moved to Merrill after a year.
Sanctuary, which was launched in 2018 by former Merrill divisional executive Jim Dickson, serves 48 practices with $15 billion in client assets, according to the release.
In another poaching from Merrill, San Francisco-based First Republic Bank hired broker Daniel O. Jennings in Los Angeles, who had spent his entire 23-year industry career with the Thundering Herd in its Century City branch.
Jennings had been generating at Merrill around $1.2 million in annual revenue from $250 million in client assets, according to two sources familiar with his practice. He moved along with a client associate.
First Republic, which has around 200 advisors, has hired four other brokerage teams this year, including a $4.6 million Morgan Stanley team in New York, which moved one week before Jennings.
A Merrill spokesperson did not return a request for comment on Friday’s departures.
Merrill, which retreated from veteran broker recruiting in 2017 to focus on home-grown talent, has seen a steady outflow of departures this year. It last week also lost two teams in New York and New Mexico to RBC Wealth Management-U.S. and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
A senior executive said earlier this month that his firm is focusing on selectively hiring seasoned brokers in some key markets, such as San Francisco and Florida, in what recruiters read as a sign it may be dipping a toe back into the market.
Merrill underscored those efforts by hiring a longtime private banker in San Francisco who is expected to officially join after a garden leave from Citibank.
Bank of America no longer breaks out the total number of advisors in its core Merrill wealth management business, which it now folds into an overall number of 20,000 working for the brokerage, Merrill Edge, and its private banking business.