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Merrill Lynch Nabs $4.5M UBS Team in Texas: Recruiting Roundup

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Bank of America-Merrill Lynch says it has recruited a team of three advisors in Texas from wirehouse rival UBS.

Roger Berry, Felix Erbring and Ted Gray joined the firm’s Private Banking and Investment Group earlier this month in Austin, Texas. The trio has produced yearly fees and commissions of over $4.5 million and has about $466 million of total client assets.

“We’re pleased to have Roger, Felix and Ted join our growing number of advisors in Austin and the Greater Texas Region,” said Bob Johnson, regional managing director for Merrill Lynch’s Private Bank and Investment Group, which includes about 190 teams.

“They have a great reputation for serving ultra-high-net worth families in South Texas. Their commitment to clients, and opportunities to strengthen and deepen relationships by leveraging our entire organization, make them an excellent fit within our region and the firm,” Johnson explained.

According to the regional managing director, the number of private wealth advisors in Merrill Lynch’s Private Bank and Investment Group in the Greater Texas Region has nearly doubled over the past 3.5 years and now totals 55.

Berry has been in the industry for 26 years and has worked for UBS, Morgan Stanley and A.G. Edwards. Erbring has 18 years in the business and has spent time with UBS and Morgan Stanley. Gray’s industry experience goes back 28 years and includes time at UBS, Morgan Stanley and A.G. Edwards.

Ameriprise News

Three advisors recently moved to Ameriprise Financial with $325 million in combined assets under management—two from Wells Fargo Advisors and one from Wedbush Securities.

“Ameriprise has the resources on the ground to help teams provide an excellent client experience and grow their practices,” said Manish Dave, senior vice president of business development at Ameriprise, in a statement.

“Advisors also have the benefit of being able to choose between our employee and independent channels – giving them flexibility in how they structure their practices, while leveraging the support services and recognition of our strong national brand,” he explained.

Arthur Hoffman of Glendale, Arizona, joined Ameriprise’s franchise channel from Wedbush Securities, where he had about $133 million in assets.

Gregory Aloisio of Melville, N.Y.,moved to the employee channel from Wells Fargo Advisors with some $103 million in assets. Also leaving WFA to join Ameriprise is Jeffrey McKinnon of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania; he became part of the franchise channel and previously managed about $89 million.

Raymond James’ Latest

Raymond James says James Perry, Jr., CFP, is now part of its employee broker-dealer in Huntington, West Virginia. He was with Hilliard Lyons since 1994 and had about $100 million in client assets.

“We are delighted to welcome Jim to our firm and to the Huntington office managed by John Dorsey,” said Bill Theis, Mid-American Complex manager for Raymond James & Associates, in a statement. “His client-first values, which align closely with those of Raymond James, together with his many years’ experience, make him a great addition” to Raymond James & Associates.

Perry began his financial-services career in 1987 as a trust officer with a community bank. He latest got a law degree and focused on estate planning.

“I was attracted to Raymond James for many reasons, but in particular its independence, flexibility and strong conservative management were appealing to me,” the advisor said in a statement. “I wanted a firm that would be able to assist in identifying an appropriate successor for my practice, when I eventually retire, and for me to know that person would take care of my clients in the same, service-oriented manner to which they have become accustomed.

Raymond James also says it has recently recruited veteran complex manager Stephen B. Pryoraway from RBC Wealth Management. Pryor is now a regional executive for Alex. Brown’s office in Boston, according to Brett Kellam, Northeast regional director for the boutique wealth firm.

“I couldn’t be more proud that Steve has accepted our offer to become the leader of Alex. Brown wealth management in Boston,” said Kellam, in a statement. “He exemplifies the value and culture that has been the Alex. Brown tradition for the last 200 years. His many years of experience and increasingly important responsibilities as a business development officer and complex manager make him a great fit to lead our efforts in this important market.”

Pryor cut his teeth in the business as a Merrill Lynch advisor trainee in 1991. He later worked for Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley, Prudential Securities, Wachovia, where he served in several roles.

In 2006, he returned to Merrill Lynch to be the complex director of the firm’s Manhattan East complex and later worked in Kansas City, Missouri, for Merrill. In 2013, he moved to RBC Wealth Management as the Portland, Maine, complex director and oversaw six offices.

“The Northeast is an important expansion market for Raymond James and Alex. Brown, so I am excited to be part of this growth story,” Pryor said in a statement.

“I am also excited about joining a firm with the culture of Raymond James. It’s compelling to work for a company that supports and encourages diversity throughout the organization,” he explained.

The Boston office of Alex. Brown now has 18 advisors and 17 administrative associates with some $4 billion in assets under management.

“Attracting someone to manage our Boston office with Steve’s experience and proven track record was important,” said Haig Ariyan, president of Alex. Brown, in a statement. “Steve really appreciates how the Alex. Brown legacy, enhanced by Raymond James’ reputation and resources, becomes an unbeatable value proposition to successful financial advisors serving high net worth clients in this market.”

Focus, Kestra Developments

Focus Financial Partners says it has helped partner firm Benefit Financial Services Group close a deal with PacWest Financial Management, an RIA in Phoenix, Arizona. This deal marks BFS’ second merger since the beginning of 2016.

According to the firm’s latest regulatory filings, Southern California-based Benefit Financial had $163 million in client assets as of six months ago; PacWest has about $225 million.

Founded by Grace Lau in 1997, PacWest provides wealth management and financial planning services to approximately 200 families and individuals.

“PacWest’s dedication to its clients and its wealth management expertise make the firm a great addition to BFS’ wealth management division. We are delighted to have the PacWest team join us,” said Patrick Powers, managing principal and president of BFS Wealth Management, in a statement.

“We are excited to provide the necessary capital and resources to help BFS realize its long-term strategy and close its second merger,” added Rudy Adolf, CEO and founder of Focus, in a press release. “These mergers, among like-minded entrepreneurs, have served to expand the firm’s service offering, team size and geographic footprint, making BFS a model for other firms that seek to expand their capabilities.”

San Diego-based Kestra Private Wealth Services says Intrinsic Mutual Advisors and Stone Beacon Capital, each led by former wirehouse advisors, are now affiliated with its private-wealth operations.

Intrinsic Mutual is located in New York and led by Stephen Luz, while Stone Beacon has its offices in Carlsbad, California and is headed by Chad Collins.

“Kestra PWS remains the premier destination of choice for wirehouse advisors looking for full-service solutions to independence, a reputation that helped us attract both Stephen and Chad to our firm,” said Kestra Private Wealth Services CEO Rob Bartenstein, in a statement

To support Luz and the Intrinsic Mutual team, Kestra PWS has opened an office at 1 World Trade Center; Luz previously managed $130 million in assets.

“Kestra PWS offers the support, long-term commitment, and high quality, diverse services and products that will help me grow my business in an increasingly competitive environment,” Luz stated in a press release.

A 20-year veteran of the financial industry, Collins managed $110 million in assets. Its client niche involves professionals in the golf industry.

“After seeing the tremendous growth of Kestra PWS, I felt confident that the firm’s history of assisting advisors to reap the advantages of independence will allow Stone Beacon Capital’s advisors to better serve our clients,” Collins said in a statement.


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