Merrill Nabs $1 Billion-Asset Int’l Broker from JPMorgan
After a major retrenchment from its non-U.S. client business, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is still luring in some large brokers serving international clientele in a few markets.
In the latest move, Merrill scooped up a former JPMorgan private banker who oversaw more than $1 billion in assets, according to a statement from Merrill on Tuesday. The broker, Fernando Nicolau, joins an existing Merrill team in Miami focused on ultra-high-net-worth Brazilian clients, according to the release.
Reached at his new office, Nicolau declined to comment on his reasons for moving. He will work alongside Andre Mendes and Pedro Paulo Silva, Merrill’s largest Brazil team. He’s the second broker this year to join the team after Juliano de Souza e Silva, who oversaw $200 million in assets for ultra-wealthy Brazilian clients, moved in March from Brazil-based investment firm BTG Pactual.
“[Nicolau’s] years of experience working in the Latin American market make him the right fit for our Brazil client segment,” Andres de Corral, market executive at Merrill, said in a statement.
Nicolau spent 13 years working at Citibank in Brazil, New York and Miami before joining JP Morgan Private bank in 2012, according to BrokerCheck. Silva and Mendes are also Citigroup vets who moved to Merrill in 2009, according to BrokerCheck.
A spokeswoman for Merrill declined to say how many brokers at Merrill Lynch still focus on international clientele. More than half of the 300 internationally focused brokers at Merrill have left since 2015, when the firm dramatically reorganized the unit and stepped back from serving clients in all but 29 of the 80 countries it once served.
The shift sparked a class-action claim that was dropped in January.
Merrill has since brought in a handful of brokers including de Souza e Silva and another, Leon Friedlander, whose customers are largely based in his native Venezuela, and who joined its Aventura, Florida, branch from Morgan Stanley.
A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.