Head of Merrill Lynch's adviser-sold 401(k) sales to depart

Joe Mrozek, who's worked for more than 20 years at Merrill Lynch, will take a job at Lincoln Financial Group

Nov 10, 2017 @ 1:53 pm

By Greg Iacurci

Joe Mrozek, head of small- and middle-market 401(k) sales at Merrill Lynch, is leaving the firm, a spokeswoman has confirmed.

Mr. Mrozek, whose official title is head of small-mid market business development and adviser programs, has taken a job at Lincoln Financial Group, according to a source with knowledge of the decision.

Suzanne Tavani, a Lincoln spokeswoman, declined comment.

Merrill Lynch employees currently reporting to Mr. Mrozek will report to his manager, Steve Ulian, head of institutional retirement benefit plan sales and relationship management, according to spokeswoman Julia Ehrenfeld.

The small- and mid-sized 401(k) market is the one in which most financial advisers tend to operate.

"After a 21-year career, Joe Mrozek has decided to retire from Bank of America," Mr. Ulian wrote in an internal memo. "Joe has spent his entire career here at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the institutional retirement business and has had a tremendous impact across the organization in a number of roles … His leadership, commitment and dedication has directly contributed to the success of the institutional retirement business and his presence will be missed by his many friends and colleagues."

(More: Merrill Lynch swells ranks of fiduciary 401(k) advisers by over 3,000.)

It wasn't immediately clear when Mr. Mrozek will leave Merrill Lynch, when he will start his position at Lincoln or what his new role will be at Lincoln.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, which houses roughly 15,000 financial advisers and brokers, has three record-keeping distribution channels for 401(k) advisers: the proprietary Bank of America record-keeping platform known as ML2, which is traditionally focused on mid- and large-sized plans; the Advisor Alliance program, a platform of 11 record-keeping partner firms typically used for small- to mid-sized clients; and "non-platform" record keepers, such as Fidelity Investments.

(More: Merrill Lynch releases new compensation plan.)

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