4 Merrill Teams Go Indie With More Than $1B

The breakaway brokers join HighTower and Dynasty Financial in the West

Four Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) teams switched to the independent-advisor model, Dynasty Financial Partners and HighTower Advisors said early Tuesday.

Chicago-based HighTower said that two Merrill teams that joined its network, owned by its now 75 advisors, came on board in Las Vegas: Anderson & Delutri and the MNA Group. They are the ninth and 10th teams in 2012 to join HighTower, which includes some 35 teams with about $20 billion in assets.

 “These are two of the best advisor teams in this region, who both came to the same conclusion that HighTower is the future of the financial services industry, and they would be able to serve their clients as true fiduciaries by joining our partnership,” said Mike Papedis (left), executive vice president of business development at HighTower, in a press release. “Teams such as these are the linchpin of our continued growth as HighTower expands into new markets.”

The principals of Anderson & Delutri—Hugh Anderson and Sheila Delutri—each spent more than 30 years at Merrill Lynch. They manage combined assets of $450 million.

 “We hold our commitment to serve as the chief financial officer of every family we work with in the absolute highest regard,” said Anderson, in a statement. “HighTower has not only restored the fiduciary relationship between advisors and clients, but they have leveraged the competitive power of Wall Street to ensure that it benefits our clients.”

The principals of MNA Group—Mike PeQueen, CFA, CFP; Ned Evans, CRPC; and Adam Thurgood, CFA—have a combined 60 years of experience in the financial services industry. They joined Merrill Lynch in 2002 after working for Prudential Securities and manage about $340 million in assets for clients with $2 million and more in investable assets.

“After experiencing the strength and talent of HighTower’s people and the dynamic culture where advisors are truly partners in the success of the firm and its clients, it became abundantly clear that HighTower provided the independence and enterprise support that would not be possible on our own,” said PeQueen in a statement.

Dynasty's New Group

New York-based Dynasty Financial said True Private Wealth Advisors has become the most recent independent investment advisory firm to join its growing network of advisor teams, bringing the total to 15 teams and about $13 billion in assets under management.

True Private Wealth Advisors came on board Dynasty in Salem, Ore., with four advisors and more than $300 million in assets. It comprises two teams from the Merrill Lynch Private Client Group, including branch manager Steve Altman. (The Davis/Altman Group and the Gescher/Herber Group will remain as two separate groups under the True Private Wealth Advisors banner.)

True Private Wealth Advisors is the 15th independent advisory firm to join Dynasty's wealth management platform and brings expertise in both commercial banking and private families to the Dynasty network of advisors.

"What is unique about the launch of True Private Wealth Advisors is that we have two successful teams coming together to form one firm with greater scale and broader expertise than each team would have on their own. What they have in common is an entrepreneurial spirit and drive to build a client-focused advisory business in the Pacific Northwest," said Tim Bello, partner and director of strategic implementation at Dynasty, in a press release.

"We think this multiadvisor partnership model is the next wave in the breakaway advisor movement,” Bello said. “We are getting calls from groups of advisors and branch managers who want to start their own firms while keeping their individual team structures inside the new central brand."

The members of True Private Wealth Advisors plan to access Dynasty’s investment platform, which integrates proprietary research of Callan Associates. Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services will provide custody services, and Envestnet will provide portfolio-trading tools and reporting.

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