Kaye/Bassman’s Tim White in Invesment News Article, “Merrill Lynch Losing Top Advisors“
Dallas, Texas, 3/9/2012:
Working under a recent mandate not to use certain alternative investments or to sign on new public-pension-fund clients, John Beirne Jr., a 33-year veteran of Merrill Lynch who managed upwards of $2 billion in assets, quit last month to strike out on his own. For a variety of reasons, many top Merrill Lynch financial advisers are coming to the same conclusion. Seven of the 10 largest adviser moves tracked by InvestmentNews over the past three months have involved Bank of America Merrill Lynch advisers — many of them veterans such as Mr. Beirne. “I’m a gold watch guy, but I’m not going to get the gold watch at Merrill Lynch,” he said, echoing what many other top producers at America’s iconic wirehouse have been feeling of late. “We would have lost accounts, and the change was interfering with an investment process we’d been using for 35 years,” said Mr. Beirne, explaining why he and three other Merrill Lynch advisers opened up shop as registered investment advisers in Milford, Conn.
The team made the move with the help of Focus Financial Partners LLC, an aggregator with 23 partner firms, collectively managing $50 billion. For Merrill Lynch, which employs more than 17,000 advisers and managed more than $1.5 trillion at the end of last year, the departure of Mr. Beirne wasn’t an earth-shaking event. And to be sure, at a firm of its size, the normal comings and goings will involve many sizable producers.
“We can’t verify your info — but frankly, people have been calling “the great exodus’ for more than a decade now, and the facts have not borne it out,” said Merrill Lynch spokeswoman Selena Morris. But after a few years of very low turnover in its adviser ranks, Merrill Lynch — and wirehouses in general — could see many more brokers head for the exits this year.
“We’re seeing more activity across the board when it comes to the major firms,” said Tim White, a recruiter with Kaye Bassman International Corp.
Read the full story.
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