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Practice Management > Building Your Business

$900M Merrill Team Goes Indie With Raymond James: Recruiting Roundup

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Raymond James recently recruited a $900 million team from Merrill Lynch and a $200 million duo from Wells Fargo Advisors to its independent channel. 

The ex-Merrill group includes advisors Neil J. Goetzman, Jeffrey A. Nau, CFP, and Gerald Lyon, as well as registered client service associate Kathy Trzaskoma. It is based in Alexandria, Virginia, where it does business as Goetzman Nau Financial Partners.

“From the beginning, we could tell the atmosphere and culture at Raymond James were different,” according to Nau. “Taking our due diligence process very seriously, we wanted to ensure that we had a partner that would offer the best opportunities in helping us serve our clients … for the long haul.”

Goetzman began his career 32 years ago at Merrill Lynch, while Nau did so 20 years ago; the two became business partners in 2004. Lyon joined Merrill about 14 years ago. Trzaskoma begam working with Goetzman and Nau 15 years ago. 

Meanwhile, Raymond James recruited two registered reps from Wells Fargo Advisors: Mark Killingsworth, CFP, and Stephen Vessey in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. They work with registered client service associate Carrie Decker and operate as Killingsworth & Vessey Financial Partners.

“We were attracted to Raymond James’ exceptional focus on comprehensive financial planning for clients and continued commitment to its wealth management offerings,” said Vessey, in a statement.

Killingsworth has 34 years of industry experience, most of it at A.G. Edwards & Sons and its successor firms Wachovia Securities and Wells Fargo Advisors. Vessey began his career at Wells Fargo in late 2017, after working in education for 22 years.

UBS News

UBS says it recruited Joshua Breeden from Morgan Stanley to become its branch manager in Walnut Creek, California, near San Francisco.

Breeden has 24 years of industry experience, 12-month fees and commissions of $1.4 million and assets of about $160 million. (He started his career at Merrill.)

Also, Dan Beheshti and Jenni Mitchell joined UBS in Las Vegas from Merrill, where they worked with $116 million.  Behesti has seven years in the business, while Mitchell has three. 

LPL Developments 

LPL Financial says the Horizons Financial Group has joined its hybrid platform from Triad Advisors, which is part of Advisor Group; the team works with about $375 million in brokerage, advisory and retirement plan assets. 

Horizons CEO James “Jim” Nix Jr. co-founded the Birmingham, Alabama-based group in 2006 with longtime friend and business partner Michael Mashburn Sr., chief investment officer. 

Also working with them is COO James “Jim” Carter and Andrew Dean, operations manager.  

“We were previously at a firm that was sold twice during our tenure,” Nix explained in a statement. “As a publicly traded firm, LPL Financial will provide our business and our clients with long-term stability in this ever-changing world.”

FiNet Recruits

Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, the firm’s independent channel, says Frank Scicchitano joined one of its affiliates – Seventy2 Capital of Bethesda, Maryland — from UBSScicchitano has 18 years of experience and manages about $70 million in client assets.

Joseph (Tom) Binder, formerly of RBC Capital, is now with FiNet-affiliated Presidio Group Wealth Management, in Tucson, Arizona. Binder’s been in the business for about 22 years and works with assets of $45 million.


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