$160 million Merrill Lynch team exits for HighTower

Advisers forming RIA in West Palm Beach, Fla.

May 22, 2017 @ 3:58 pm

By InvestmentNews

A four-adviser team managing $160 million in assets has left Merrill Lynch in West Palm Beach, Fla., to create an RIA firm, PDS Wealth Management, that has affiliated with HighTower.

Breaking away were the new firm's managing director Tom Parker, who has been in the securities business for 31 years, and directors Patrick Dugan, Paul Spencer and Mr. Parker's son, Tommy.

The senior Mr. Parker began his securities career at Bear Stearns in 1986. After short stints at several firms, he joined Morgan Stanley in 2002 and Citigroup in 2005. He rejoined Morgan Stanley in 2009 and joined Merrill Lynch later that year.

Mr. Dugan joined Citigroup in 2008 and teamed up with the elder Mr. Parker there, joining him in moves to other firms.

Mr. Spencer began his securities career at Lehman Brothers in 2002, and was there until the firm's demise in 2008. After working at other securities firms for a short time, he joined Capital Guardian in 2013, and then Merrill Lynch in 2015.

The younger Mr. Parker worked at two mutual fund firms before joining Merrill Lynch in 2013.

PDS Wealth Management is the ninth team to join HighTower this year, the firm said in a release.

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