Boutique lands two veteran teams from Merrill

Snowden snags pair of big teams of the thundering herd

Nov 28, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

By Andrew Osterland

Snowden Capital Advisors LLC, a small, independent advisory firm based in New York City, has landed two large teams of Merrill Lynch advisers. Between them, the pair manage more than $500 million.

John DiCiaccio spent nearly three decades at Merrill and his partner Leah Thomson Snell joined Merrill in 2000. The team of Luis Gonzalez and Jon Lamothe has 30 years of combined tenure at Merrill. Mr. LaMothe is the brother of Lyle LaMothe, the former head of Merrill's brokerage unit who now is an investor and strategic adviser to Snowden. The four advisers were all made partners in the firm and together will open a new office for Snowden in Pasadena, Ca.

“These two teams are deeply experienced and we're very excited to have them join our firm,” said Snowden co-founder and CEO Rob Mooney.

Bank of America sokesman Matt Card confirmed the departures of the pair of teams.

RELATED ITEM Latest exits from Merrill Lynch »

Mr. Mooney and co-founder John Morris — both also Merrill veterans, launched Snowden last year and expect to attract more wirehouse advisers going forward. Mr. Morris said the firm wasn't using recruiters to target new partners but would selectively recruit experienced advisers. “We're looking to build a national boutique firm and we're looking for advisers to help build a brand with us,” said Mr. Morris.

Snowden has chosen a hybrid operating model, registering as an RIA with the Securities & Exchange Commission, and also building a broker-dealer for advisers to execute commissioned transactions for clients. It's been a more complicated ramp up for the firm, but Mr. Morris, managing partner responsible for investment solutions, expects the strategy to pay dividends.

“Financial advisers want the choice of how they can serve their clients,” said Mr. Morris, “We expect advisers will have about 80% of their business in fee-based accounts, but the utility of a broker-dealer is very important to them. We feel it's the right model that serves client interests best.”


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Featured video


Top questions surrounding future of DOL fiduciary rule

Reporter Greg Iacurci and managing editor Christina Nelson discuss the biggest uncertainties springing from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to vacate the regulation.

Latest news & opinion

Stocks plunge, advisers tell clients to hang tight

Though planners encourage calm, some are preparing investors for a correction.

Lightyear Capital's Donald Marron said to be in the hunt for Cetera Financial Group

The veteran brokerage executive, who bought Advisor Group in 2016, owned Cetera once before.

What to watch for next with the DOL fiduciary rule

Much hinges on whether the Labor Department appeals the 5th Circuit decision by April 30.

Social Security benefits losing buying power

Low inflation combined with rising Medicare costs threaten the adequacy of seniors' income.

Finra looks to streamline broker-dealer exams

CEO Robert Cook says three examination teams may be consolidated.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print