Senior vice president, Merrill Lynch
- Was the kicker on his high school football team.
- Is meticulous about his lawn.
- Was drawn to finance by his high school girlfriend's older brother, who worked on Wall Street.
Brian Shambo is living proof of an adviser at a wirehouse who's resisted going independent.
Mr. Shambo signed on to the Bank of America training program a week after graduating from college, 17 years ago, and he's been there since.
The bank's purchase of Merrill Lynch following the 2009 financial crisis changed the company name on his business card, but it is still essentially the same company.
"I played with all the thoughts of going independent, but at the end of the day, I really feel my firm does a lot right, and we have a great infrastructure," he said. "The acquisition of Merrill was the best thing that could have happened to me, because I was a wirehouse broker stuck in a bank platform."
Mr. Shambo, a married father of two children under age 6, said the frenzy of the dot-com bubble when he first entered the business convinced him that "people need holistic advice."
"I remember clients yelling because we weren't opening an investment account fast enough," said Mr. Shambo, who grew up in North Carolina, but now lives in Vero Beach, Fla., where he is the office's largest producer.
His passion for the business is illustrated by his regularly opting to attend executive education programs at universities including Harvard, Duke and Dartmouth rather than top-producer junkets.
Mr. Shambo recently helped launch donor-advised funds to promote philanthropy and benefit smaller non-profit organizations.
In terms of the future, he isn't ruling anything out. But for now, he said, "I'm happy with my phenomenal team, and I wouldn't want to be in a different city working in a management role."
– Jeff Benjamin