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HighTower Nabs $500M JPMorgan Team, $230M Merrill Rep: Recruiting Roundup

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HighTower Advisors says a team previously with JPMorgan has joined it and opened True Wealth Advisory Group, being led by Marc Shachtman. The Miami-based practice has about $500 million in client assets.

In addition, a Lebanon, Pennsylvania-based private wealth management practice overseeing $230 million in client assets has come on board: Kevin R. Keith leads the team, which earlier was with Merrill Lynch.

Keith spent 22 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Our clients’ best interests are our team’s top priority. The opportunity to serve those interests, uninhibited by many of the conflicts and problems that are common to the traditional Wall Street business model, is what drew us to HighTower,” he said in a statement.

Shachtman has been in the business since 2003, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. ”The HighTower platform caters to our specialized needs as financial advisors and independent business owners,” he said in a statement. “Affiliating with HighTower was unequivocally the right choice for our team and our clients.”

In other news, Wells Fargo Advisors says it recently recruited two Morgan Stanley advisors in California: Michael Muehl of Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, who has about $180 million in assets and has been in the industry since 1986; and Bernard Suissa of Beverly Hills, who has close to $193 million in assets and was in the business since 1994.

Meanwhile, Cetera Financial Institutions has announced that Flushing Bank’s retail wealth management program is joining its platform. Flushing Bank is a Uniondale, New York-based bank with 19 offices; there are some 20 financial professionals in its wealth management program, which supports about $225 million in client brokerage assets.

“We’re particularly excited about Flushing Bank’s enthusiasm for Cetera’s advice-centric experience model, as we believe the bank’s embrace of this vision for the future of wealth management, combined with our ability to fully support their technology-focused approach to growth, make this an ideal strategic relationship,” said LeAnn Rummel, president of Cetera Financial Institutions, in a statement.

In addition, Cirrus Wealth Management, a wealth firm in Cleveland affiliated with Royal Alliance, says advisor Ryan Heider — who is the son of the firm’s president and founder, Joe Heider — has joined the firm. Ryan moves to Cirrus after working at the Boston Consulting Group and ExxonMobil.