Merrill Golden Ager (Almost!) Goes Indie with LPL
Ronald Eugene Scott was just short of spending five decades at Merrill Lynch when he upped and left to run his own business as a contractor with LPL Financial, a decision he says he wouldn’t have made until relatively recently.
“There’s a lot of changes going on in the industry,” said Scott, who declined to give specifics on the dynamics, other than to say that moving is easier than it once was and that he is now working with his son-in-law, Jeremiah Bauman in the Encino, California, area where he also worked for Merrill.
Scott also credited the precedent he had seen in recent years of other advisors he knows who made moves to independent broker-dealers and registered investment advisers without regret.
Whether such moves will continue to be as easy has become a matter of debate since Morgan Stanley two weeks ago pulled out of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. Brokers can no longer leave the firm for another Protocol firm with confidence that they can get in touch with their former clients without being sued by their former employer.
Merrill and UBS Financial Services are widely expected to be considering similar moves to leave the Protocol, although firm spokespeople declined to comment.
Scott, for his part, collaborated on the establishment of Bauman Scott Financial Services on August 31, as rumors of big firms leaving the Protocol were escalating.
The broker, who first registered as a rep in 1969, joined Merrill Lynch a year later for what he grew to expect would be a lifetime journey. His son-in-law, a former equities trader at Banc of America Securities, has been affiliated with LPL since 2007, according to his BrokerCheck history.
When Scott left Merrill two months ago, he was a senior vice president, which connotes production of over $1 million for brokers on the move up, according to the firm’s 2016 compensation plan. (Brokers who fall below the minimum generally get to retain earlier-awarded titles at large broker-dealers.)
The veteran broker, whose professional website says he “enjoys working with the family horses and dogs and attending his grandsons’ sports events,” received a masters degree from the University of Southern California, according to the website.
A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch did not immediately return a request for comment.