February 2016

Advisor Hub – Another Merrill Int’l Advisor Defects

The fallout continues from Merrill Lynch’s decision to restructure its international unit last summer.

Snowden Lane, a small advisory and brokerage led by former Merrill Lynch retail force head Lyle LaMothe and some of his colleagues, has hired Alex Arista, a Merrill International broker based in San Diego, for its office in that city.

Arista, who had been with Merrill since 2008, is at least the second advisor focusing on non-U.S. accounts to have left this year. In January, Eugenio Arango, who managed about  $400 million of client assets from a Coral Gables, Florida, branch, jumped to a branch of Raymond James Financial.

Some larger companies have been whittling their foreign-client coverage due to intensified regulatory oversight of anti-money laundering rules and related laws and regulations. Merrill in June said it was streamlining its international retail unit, partly by driving out some advisors whose clients did not meet its new minimum account size of $2.5 million for non-U.S. citizens.  The minimum prior to June was $1 million.

A Snowden spokesman declined to comment on Arista’s production or assets under management. A Merrill spokeswoman was not immediately able to comment.

Snowden has 27 advisors and a total of almost $1 billion in assets under management, according to its ADV. A spokesman for the firm said that number does not include around $1 billion in assets under management at the firm’s broker-dealer.

Morgan Stanley made a similar but less severe change in August when defined the 60 countries and jurisdictions in which U.S.-based advisors could do business with clients and also established a minimum, although much lower at $500,000.

 

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