Merrill heats up summer hiring market with advisers managing $533M

The additions to the firm reflect new hiring activity, recruiters say

Sep 4, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

By

+ Zoom

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has landed four advisers overseeing a combined $533 million, the latest in a spate of summer hires among wirehouse firms that could point to new hiring momentum, according to recruiters.

Merrill Lynch's hires, who hail from rival wirehouses Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Wells Fargo & Co., moved to the firm in August.

They include Charles Phelps, with $201.8 million in assets under management, who joined Merrill's San Mateo, Calif., office from Morgan Stanley. Also, from Morgan Stanley, Abtin Zarrabi joined Merrill's Pinnacle Peak, Ariz., office with $191.9 million in assets under management and $1 million in production.

Robert Bezzone and Joseph Marotta joined Merrill in Morristown, N.J., from Wells Fargo with $139.5 million in assets under management and $1.3 million in production.

The hires come as the four wirehouses saw increased adviser movement during the summer months, shaking up what has been anemic turnover in the wealth management industry.

“We've entered a perfect storm for adviser movement,” said Mindy Diamond, president of Diamond Consultants LLC.

Diamond said she saw a drag on adviser movement during 2012 and through most of 2013, but she believes this resistance created “pent-up demand,” resulting in a more turnover in the recent months.

Now, she said, there are four forces pushing advisers to consider jumping ship.

First, the wirehouse incentive packages are at a high-water mark. Second, the shadow cast by Finra's consideration of the broker disclosure rule is creating concerns about the regulatory environment. Third, retention packages are down from their peak, and with every day that goes by, advisers are amortizing more of the money from those packages. And fourth, bank parents to wealth management arms are prone to be overly controlling of their advisers while also creating bureaucratic hiccups, which yields frustration.

“This creates a dissonance,” Ms. Diamond said. “Advisers want to be treated like entrepreneurs with a large degree of flexibility and freedom. The frustration comes from a lack of or loss of control.”

“In the last couple of months there's been more movement,” she said. “And a lot of that movement has been from the wirehouses to the independent space.”

Bill Willis, president and chief executive of financial services recruiting firm Willis Consulting Inc., said turnover at the wirehouses is still “encumbered by retention deals,” a product of the post-2008 climate.

“2013 remains an okay year for recruiting but not a banner year,” Mr. Willis said.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

Pershing's Cirrotti: What's next for the fiduciary rule?

The Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule will have a lasting impact on this industry. Have we finally reached the finish line? Pershing's Rob Cirrotti explains what is to come.

Video Spotlight

Will It Last As Long As Your Clients Do?

Sponsored by Prudential

Video Spotlight

The Catalyst

Sponsored by Pershing

Latest news & opinion

Brian Block's $4 million bonus was tied to a key metric at ARCP

Prosecution rests case in fraud trial against CFO of American Realty Capital Properties.

Edward Jones is winning the Google search war

Brokerage firm's digital marketing investment helps land it at the top of local and overall search engine results, report finds.

Voya's win in 401(k) fee suit involving Financial Engines bodes well for other record keepers

Fidelity, Aon Hewitt and Xerox HR Solutions are currently defending against similar fiduciary-breach claims.

Collective investment trusts getting more attention from 401(k) advisers

The funds are catching on due largely to lower costs and more product availability, but come with some inherent drawbacks.

Vanguard rides robo-advice wave to $65B in assets

Personal Advisor Services, four times the size of its closest competitor, combines digital and human touch.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print