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$550M Merrill Team Goes Indie With Dynasty in Florida

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Former Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) advisors Elizabeth (Lisa) van Walleghem and Thomas (Jim) Butler III have launched their own firm, MAXIMAI Investment Partners, in partnership with Dynasty Financial Partners.

The new firm, based in Coral Gables, Florida, is an independent boutique investment advisory firm focused on working with ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs and families from around the world. In addition to van Walleghem and Butler, who were formerly responsible for managing $550 million in client assets, the new firm counts three additional Merrill alumni: Alejandro Behrens, Daniella Viete and Ana Bueso, all from the Merrill Lynch Miami Latam Complex.

“One of the main reasons that we have decided to launch MAXIMAI is our desire to build stronger relationships with our clients, their families and communities by offering objective and transparent advice unconstrained by the structure of a one-firm model,” van Walleghem said in a statement.

(She had worked for Merrill Lynch since 1993, while Butler had been with Merrill since 1988.)

Centennial, Colorado-based Greenwood Investment Management has been acquired by RMB Capital. Ken James, founder and sole proprietor of Greenwood, has joined RMB as a consultant; the transaction adds more than $60 million in assets to RMB, an independent financial services firm with about $5.2 billion in assets under management.

RMB is headquartered in Chicago with offices in Denver, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Washington, D.C., as well as several satellite locations.

Raymond James (RJF) says it recruited an 18-year Morgan Stanley veteran to its independent channel in Silicon Valley. 

Dieter Ramaekers, CFP, CIMA, of Los Gatos, California, previously managed about $132 million in client assets and had $1.2 million in yearly fees and commissions, according to Bill Counsman, regional director for Raymond James Financial Services’ western region.

Ramaekers will become a branch manager and join former-Morgan Stanley colleague Victor Adint, who affiliated with Raymond James in 2009.

“I was considering going independent for some time, and what attracted me most to Raymond James was the capability and flexibility to run my business the way I have always wanted,” said Ramaekers, in a statement. “In addition to the independence and freedom, I appreciated the amount of back office support Raymond James provides its advisors.”

According to Counsman, “Many advisors consider Raymond James when going independent, due to the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit, robust technology and unparalleled advisor support. We are pleased to offer Dieter this and more as he continues to grow his practice as an independent advisor.”

Wells Fargo Advisors has welcomed a team in Salt Lake City and an advisor in Atlanta, both from Morgan Stanley.

In Salt Lake City, the Coury Piper Group of Wells Fargo Advisors has joined, managing more than $343 million in combined client assets. The team is led by Clifford Coury and Mark Pyper, both managing directors-investments, who report to Lori Rogerson, Salt Lake City branch manager.

Coury has 28 years in the business, while Pyper has 12. They both worked for Morgan Stanley for the past seven years.

In Atlanta, Chuck Miller has moved to Wells Fargo (WFC) as a senior vice president-investment officer, managing more than $160 million in client assets. He now reports to Allen Fowler, managing director, Atlanta market manager, and spent the last seven years at Morgan Stanley.

Randy Hammond has joined the Charlotte, North Carolina, office of U.S. Trust as market executive for North Carolina and Tennessee. Hammond, who previously served as market manager for the Rocky Mountain states at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, will lead a team of professionals providing services to UHNW families in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi.

Employee-owned investment services firm Pavilion Financial Corporation has announced an agreement to purchase the business of Jeffrey Slocum & Associates. Slocum, which advises on about $125 billion in client assets, serves institutional clients in the U.S. and Canada, including healthcare systems, endowments and foundations, retirement plans (defined contribution and defined benefit), insurance companies, religious organizations and Native American tribal communities.

Pavilion offers institutional investment consulting in Canada and the U.S. through Pavilion Advisory Group, including specialized advisory services on alternative asset classes to institutional clients through Pavilion Alternatives Group.

At closing, Pavilion will combine the business of Slocum with its institutional investment consulting subsidiary in the U.S., Pavilion Advisory Group, and the Slocum team will operate under the Pavilion name out of its current office in Minneapolis. A significant number of Slocum’s senior management team, consultants and researchers will become shareholders in Pavilion and will maintain key leadership positions in the combined organization.

Daniel Friedman, president and CEO of Pavilion Financial, says the transaction presents a strategic opportunity for both organizations: “The combined team will have the resources and expertise to lead the industry across a wide range of areas such as healthcare, insurance and retirement benefit consulting. The combined resources and research-driven knowledge will allow the advisory teams to enhance their offering to both Pavilion and Slocum clients and to expand the quality advice and solutions they are seeking.”

Finally, Cleveland, Ohio-based Cirrus Wealth Management has added Jill Franks as chief financial officer. Franks comes to the firm with nearly 30 years of experience in public accounting working with privately held businesses and business owners.

Read the Sept. 8 Recruiting Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.


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