Stifel Nabs Merrill Team Managing $1.35 Billion in Dallas
Stifel on Friday notched its largest hire by assets in at least a year with a Merrill Lynch team in Dallas who was managing $1.35 billion.
“Stifel is more of a client-focused firm,” said Robert DeBeer, who spent 15 years of his 36-year career at Merrill. “That’s it in a nutshell.”
He declined to elaborate further on their move. In a video the team posted to their new website to explain the move to their former customers, Stephen DeBeer flicked at their former firm’s Bank of America parent bank saying they’ll be able to focus on managing money “without the distractions of the bank’s objectives.”
A spokesperson at Merrill Lynch did not immediately return a request for comment. The firm halted veteran broker recruiting in 2017 to focus on home-grown talent, and a senior Merrill Lynch executive last month defended the company’s advisor retention numbers, saying some 80% of those who are leaving had joined Merrill from another firm, implying they are frequent movers.
Robert DeBeer spent a rookie month at now-defunct Blinder, Robinson & Co. before leaving to join Merrill in 1984, according to BrokerCheck. He remained there for four years before joining UBS in 1988, and returned to Merrill in 2009, the year it was bought by Bank of America.
The younger DeBeer first registered as a broker at Merrill in 2013. May started at UBS in 1998 and also moved to Merrill in 2009. Hanna began his brokerage career at Bear, Stearns & Co. in 1992 and worked at five firms before joining Merrill in 2010, according to his BrokerCheck record.
Stifel Chief Executive Ron Kruszewski alluded to the group on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call on Friday, referring to a “very large team” that was joining as a sign that recruiting remained “robust” despite a very competitive recruiting market in which signing deals were elevated industry-wide.
Stifel ended the year with a total of 2,280 advisors, up by a net 58 from 2,222 at the end of 2019. The DeBeer, May and Hanna group topped Stifel’s largest hire of 2020, a $1.15 billion-asset group led by ex-Wells brokers Doak Stolz and Scott Smith in Michigan.
“They are considered to be one of the preeminent wealth management teams in Texas, and their decision to join Stifel is a testament to our ability to serve the needs of both ultra-high and high-net-worth clients, while also supporting the entrepreneurial talents of our advisors,” Kruszewski said in a prepared statement from him and Stifel co-President James Zemlyak.
Stifel earlier in January hired Jefferies Financial Group broker Clark R. Durham, who was managing $225 million in client assets.