Wells Nabs Three Sets of Merrill Brokers in Southern California
Wells Fargo Advisors has drafted three teams of advisors from Merrill Lynch in southern California in past week-and-a-half, supplementing both its traditional branch brokerage systems and its Financial Network (FiNet) independent channel.
Two of the departures occurred at Merrill’s El Segundo office, a satellite of its . David J. Anderson, a broker for 28 years who had been with Merrill since 2009, moved with a sales assistant on June 29 to Wells’ branch in the same city, according to his BrokerCheck history. Anderson had trailing 12-month production of $1.15 million and oversaw about $138 million of customer assets, a Wells spokeswoman said.
A day later, advisors Paul Zambriski and Tyler Polson who as a team were managing about $290 million in the El Segundo branch, left to set up as independent brokers in nearby Torrance, Calif., under the FiNet flag. Zambriski, who began his brokerage career in 1999, had been with Merrill since 2003 while Polson has spent his entire career with the Thundering Herd beginning in 2002. Zambriski had produced around $877,000 of fees and commissions in the previous 12 months and Polson $440,000, the spokeswoman said.
In Indian Wells, lifetime Merrill broker Jordan Varela gave notice on Friday, July 7, to set up his own shop in nearby Palm Desert with his associate Raquel Reynolds as FiNet brokers, according to their registration histories.
The team had been managing around $300 million of client assets at Merrill, said a person familiar with their practice. Varela, a first vice president with a certified financial planner certificate, had been registered with Merrill since April 2000. Reynolds joined Merrill in 1998 and registered as a representative with Finra in 2007, according to her BrokerCheck history. She had trailing-12 production of around $731,000 and Reynolds of $313,000, the spokeswoman said.
The departures occurred as Merrill is expecting to welcome a flurry of veteran brokers by summer’s end, a product of recruiters’ push to get them in the “pipeline” prior to the effective date of the firm’s signing bonus freeze. Merrill spokespersons did not respond to requests for comments on the moves.
On the flip side of the Wells Fargo ledger, Wells Fargo Advisors’ family office and private wealth group Abbot Downing bade farewell to advisor Stephen Berardi who left its Mclean, Va., office on Friday, July 7, to join independent registered investment advisory firm PagnatoKarp in Reston, Va.
Berardi, who joined Wells in 2014 after 11 years with Genspring Family Offices, was lead advisor on a team of private bankers who had about $500 million of customer assets “under advisement,” a phrase that includes real estate and other assets that are not custodied with Wells, PagnatoKarp said.
Abbot Downing spokeswoman Julie Andrews confirmed that Berardi has left and said the business continues to service clients in the greater Baltimore-Washington, DC region from offices in New York and Philadelphia. A former associate of Berardi’s left the team in April to join Northern Trust.
Paul Pagnato and David Karp founded Berardi’s new RIA last May after they broke away from RIA aggregator HighTower Advisors. The partners, whose firm as of the end of last year was managing around $1.8 billion of customer assets, had previously been brokers at Merrill Lynch.