Merrill Lynch team with $592M in assets moves to LPL

Chicago-based team has moved to LPL's hybrid RIA platform

Jul 17, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

By Minda Smiley

A team of six Merrill Lynch Wealth Management financial advisers, now known as IHT Wealth Management, has joined LPL's broker-dealer and hybrid RIA platform in downtown Chicago.

The six advisers — Steven Dudash, Alex Papadopoulos, Orlando Ochoa, Ryan Wittig, Peter Arboleda and Scott Staley — previously managed $592 million in client assets at Merrill as of June 19, 2014. Their team also includes four administrative staff members.

The team plans to provide customized wealth management strategies to private retail mass-affluent and high-net-worth clients with investable assets ranging from $250,000 to $10 million and up. The team also hopes to help attract other wirehouse breakaways who are seeking succession plans.

“We're trying to provide a wirehouse feel, capabilities and level of service with the unbiased objectivity that an independent platform can offer,” said Steven Dudash, president of IHT Wealth Management. “Through LPL and the hybrid model, we're able to provide options very similar to a wirehouse adviser.”

The team is in the midst of transitioning client assets. “We're about two and a half weeks in. We're in the heart of it right now. To date, the response we've been receiving from our clients has been overwhelmingly positive, and we're hoping to continue down that path,” said Mr. Dudash.

Steve Pirigyi, executive vice president of business development at LPL Financial, said both LPL's size and services offered contributed to IHT Wealth Management's decision to join LPL's RIA program.

“We've spent the last 12 months working with Steve and his team to determine that LPL would be the broker-dealer of choice for his firm,” said Mr. Pirigyi. “We're very excited about this opportunity.”

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