Multi-billion Merrill Team in San Francisco Sets Up as Independent
(Updates with reference in fifth paragraph to former Goldman broker in San Francisco who set up an independent business last month.)
Merrill Lynch, which hopes to inspire a rush of job acceptances from veteran brokers before its hiring freeze takes effect in two weeks, appears to have a new multibillion-asset gap to fill in San Francisco.
A team led by father-and-son advisors Roger and Josh Carter and their colleague Donald “Brad” Edgren gave notice last Friday, the same day that they registered as principals of a new investment advisory firm called Sepio Capital, LLC.
They manage more than $4 billion for a small number of families and endowments with typical net worths of more than $50 million, according to Barron’s 2016 rankings. Their annual production is more than $13 million, according to a person familiar with their practice.
Reached at their Sepio office early Monday morning, a person answering the phone said they were too busy calling clients to discuss their plans or reasons for going independent. A Merrill spokeswoman declined to comment.
The group is the second team of San Francisco-based veterans serving the very wealthy to jump to independent practices from conventional broker-dealers in the past month. Frank Ghali, who had been with Goldman Sachs for 17 years and whose megateam oversaw some $12 billion and produced more than $60 million, set up a multi-family private office called Jordan Park Group in late April.
Roger A. Carter, a University of Utah graduate who was born in 1952 and has an MBA from Brigham Young University, has been transferring control of the practice to his son Josh, a Harvard College graduate born in 1975, and to Edgren, a Brigham Young graduate born in 1973, according to their biographies in the ADV brochures and to people familiar with their practice.
, from a Latin root meaning to enclose, surround or circle, has chosen Fidelity Investment units for client custody and trade execution services, and also for potential start-up capital, according to Sepio ADV documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 12. The new firm will offer investment advisory services using funds and individual stock and fixed-income investments at fees ranging from 0.50-2.0% depending on account size and complexity of services provided, according to the ADV brochure they filed.
Roger Carter, who was ranked number 29 among Barron’s top 100 brokers in California last year, joined Merrill’s “private banking and investment group” for brokers serving ultra-wealthy customers with Edgren and their then-partner James Robert Coleman from Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management in San Francisco in 2008, and according to their BrokerCheck database histories. (Coleman retired in July 2015). Edgren, the elder Carter and Coleman had worked together previously at Goldman Sachs as well.
Josh Carter, who is listed as Sepio’s chief compliance officer and, like his partners, managing member, began his career at Goldman as an analyst and proprietary trader before joining the wealth management group at Merrill PBIG in 2009. In a brief “On Wall Street” profile in early 2014, he said he was helping herd the team toward a more institutional clientele such as sub-$200 million endowments that are too small to attract large institutional managers of pension funds and the like. The profile listed Josh Carter’s 2013 production at $3.4 million.
Roger Carter, registered as a broker for 37 years and dually listed while at Merrill as working from its San Francisco and Provo, Utah, offices, owns a ranch in St. Geroge, Utah and has a minority interest in another ranch in Eagle Point, Oregon, according to the regulatory filings.
The three Sepio founders have clean BrokerCheck disclosure records, and have never had civil, criminal or other complaints to report, according to Sepio’s ADV.