30-Year Merrill Veteran Dupuy to Lead Focus Financial's Indie Transition Team

Dupuy will focus on expanding the Connections program, which helps elite wirehouse teams transition to independence

“The industry is changing direction and I felt it was time to look forward,” Dupuy said. “The industry is changing direction and I felt it was time to look forward,” Dupuy said.

Focus Financial Partners announced Thursday that it has tapped Merrill Lynch veteran Chris Dupuy as co-president of Focus Connections, a program that helps elite wirehouse teams transition their business and launch their own independent wealth management firms.

Dupuy, who will be based in Focus’ San Francisco office and who has spent his entire 30-year career at Merrill, will focus on expanding the Focus Connections program through business development, with a specific goal of counseling elite wealth management wirehouse teams during their transition to independence.

Dupuy joins Richard Gill, the other co-president, who launched the program in 2008 and has since transitioned more than $10 billion in assets.

Focus touts that the Connections program provides “best-in-class transition support to elite teams and individual advisors leaving wirehouses to create their own independent RIA, or join an existing Focus firm.”

“The industry is changing direction and I felt it was time to look forward,” said Dupuy, in a statement. “I am thrilled to join the talented team at Focus and very much look forward to helping elite, entrepreneurial wealth management teams who are ready to provide clients with open-architecture investment options and superior service by creating their own independent firm.”

Dupuy added that he “admires the Focus model” and “the expertise the team brings to each transition, and [is] continually impressed by the caliber of the existing partner firms.”

Rudy Adolf, CEO of Focus, added in the statement that “Focus is gaining extraordinary talent and experience with Chris. We have enormous firepower and deep pockets to resource this growing area of our business. We will continue to invest in this area as we celebrate the success of the Connections program and the continued trend of client assets and advisors leaving the wirehouses.”

Dupuy started his career at Merrill as an advisor and then moved on to assume a number of leadership roles, most recently as Market Executive of the Pacific Northwest Market, head of the Wealth Management, Private Wealth and Asia International businesses, across eight states and 67 offices, and oversaw 1,400 advisors and a total 2,000 employees.

He also was national sales manager of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, head of Merrill Lynch’s Global Investments Solutions Business, and chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch’s Wealth Management Bank.

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