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Merrill Renames, Expands Institutional Advisor Group

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Merrill Lynch has renamed its institutional-advisor group and hired a new team as part of its plans to expand these operations, an executive said Tuesday.

“In the institutional space, we have many clients, including foundations, endowments and corporate pension plans,” said Tom McAuliffe, managing director of Global Institutional Consulting, in an interview with AdvisorOne. “These financial advisors have found a nice niche to develop in the marketplace.”

McAuliffe was hired by Merrill about six months ago. Previously he worked for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s institutional arm, Graystone Consulting, as well as for UBS.

Merrill says it now has 70 GIC advisors who manage more than $60 billion in assets for foundations, endowments, pension and other institutional retirement-plan clients.

Several FAs from Convergent Wealth Advisors recently joined Merrill’s GIC group with about $2.7 billion in assets. The advisors that moved include George Dunn, Peter Dunne and Bruce Wall, who will now be based in Merrill’s office in Rockville, Md.

According to McAuliffe, Merrill aims to have 75 GIC advisors in place by year-end. Clients of the GIC advisors have a minimum of $10 million in investable assets.