After Suing Merrill, $400 Million Int’l Broker Starts RIA
One of the three former Merrill Lynch brokers who filed a class-action lawsuit against the firm Friday has set up an advisory firm to work with the Latin American and other overseas clients he says Merrill has abandoned.
Miguel Sosa, who resigned from Merrill Lynch in January, has established Premia Global Advisors as a registered investment advisor in Coral Gables, Fla., and is affiliating with Global Investors Services to continue his brokerage business.
Sosa has contracted with Dynasty Financial Services to help set up his new business, and will use Fidelity Investments as custodian for his RIA clients, according to a news release from New York-based Dynasty.
At Merrill, Sosa worked with a team of about 14 advisors and staffers that continues to operate as the Premia Group in Miami. Two associates—Juan Landivar and Eddy Park—have joined him at the new venture serving as manager of financial planning and as a client relationship manager, respectively.
Sosa, who has worked at Merrill since 1982, did not return a call for comment. He was responsible for managing more than $400 million of assets for Latin American and European clients Merrill’s Private Banking and Investment Group (PBIG), according to Dynasty.
Sosa and the two other lead plaintiffs in the class-action filing allege that Merrill Lynch fraudulently said it was committed to working with non-U.S.clients when in fact it was trying to sell the business and was instituting “discriminatory” policy changes that hindered their ability to service their clients.
Merrill Lynch spokespeople declined to comment on the move or the lawsuit.
Merrill has significantly raised asset minimums for international clients, narrowed the countries in which it will work with them and implemented onerous administrative processes, sources have told AdvisorHub.
“Any minor task is made completely impossible, generating multiple client signatures and expiring documents, creating a Kafkaesque, Byzantine bureaucracy and forcing the FA to apologize constantly to his client for something over which he has no control yet bears all the responsibility,” a reader who said he works in a Merrill south Florida wrote AdvisorHub after we reported on the lawsuit.
“They should have done the gentlemanly thing and, like RBC [Royal Bank of Canada] shutting down the business [but] giving fair notice, allowing FAs to keep deferred comp and take their business elsewhere.”