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Industry Spotlight > RIAs

$1.75B Advisor Team Ditches Merrill for Dynasty

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What You Need to Know

  • An advisor team has broken away from Merrill Lynch to launch the independent RIA firm Nilsine Partners.
  • Nilsine joined the Dynasty advisor network, which has onboarded 10 firms with an average size of $470 million so far this year.
  • Assets on Dynasty’s platform have grown to $64 billion.

An advisor team has broken away from Merrill Lynch, where they managed $1.75 billion in client assets, and partnered with Dynasty Financial Partners to launch the independent RIA firm Nilsine Partners in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Nilsine, which selected Charles Schwab as its custodian, is led by brothers R. Scott Bills and Brett R. Bills, who have decades of experience as wealth advisors.

The Nilsine team has nine members, five of them advisors, including Teresa L. Friess, its chief compliance officer and managing director; Aaron P. Seeman, a partner and chief of philanthropic and trust services; and Joshua P. DeLoach, a partner and chief strategy officer.

So far this year, Dynasty has onboarded 10 firms with an average size of $470 million, including four standalone RIAs, and the assets on Dynasty’s platform have grown to $64 billion.

Merrill declined to comment Thursday about losing the advisor team.

Nilsine offers services including banking, lending, investments, financial planning for business owners, and multi-generational family wealth transfer for executives and retirees. The firm specializes in customized portfolio management and financial planning services including multi-generational, philanthropic and trusts, Dynasty said.

“With their decades of experience in private wealth management, I am confident that they will thrive in the independent arena,” Shirl Penney, Dynasty CEO, said in a statement. “A team with the caliber of Nilsine Partners moving to a fully independent RIA model is further evidence of the ongoing movement of experienced advisors choosing the option they feel is best for their clients, their team, and their families.”

“As we continue to evolve and grow the business to meet the needs of our clients, the opportunity and necessity to expand our offerings in the independent world helped accelerate our timeline,” according to R. Scott Bills, Nilsine CEO and partner.

He had been a senior vice president wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management since 2005, according to Dynasty and his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. “We now have the ability to be solutions based, not product driven,” he said.

The team has “always run our practice as our own business within the confines of a larger organization,” Brett R. Bills, chief investment officer and partner, pointed out. He also served as a senior vice president wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, but since 2001, according to his report on BrokerCheck.

Nilsine envisions “opportunities to place a strong emphasis on M&A/advisory practice acquisition, specifically to expand their current philanthropic and family office services,” according to Dynasty. Adding real estate opportunities and developing a new advisor recruiting and training program are also planned by the new firm.

(Pictured: Shirl Penney, CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners)


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