Alex. Brown Adds Million-Dollar Merrill Broker in San Francisco
Raymond James Financial’s Alex. Brown unit has landed a veteran broker from Merrill Lynch.
Jon T. Dayton, who has been a broker for 31 years, joined the high-net-worth-focused Alex. Brown in San Francisco on Tuesday, according to his BrokerCheck record. He had been generating $1.3 million in annual revenue, according to a person familiar with his business.
Dayton, who had worked at Merrill and predecessor firms Banc of America Securities and Montgomery Securities since 1993, did not return a call for comment.
The hire is a coup for Alex. Brown, which retained more than 90% of its approximately 175 brokers after Raymond James bought the business from Deutsche Bank in 2016 but which has been slow to attract new advisors, recruiters said.
RayJay elected to organize the business as an autonomous channel in order to distinguish it from its broader franchise of brokerage offices that generally serve less affluent customers. However, it has not given Alex. Brown managers much leeway to fatten deals, which Raymond James sets at around 125% of trailing-12-month production, according to recruiters.
“In the boutique world, there’s more money and other places that have good resources,” said Mark Elzweig, a recruiter in New York. “It’s very competitive.”
Alex. Brown announced five new hires in 2018, according to press releases on Raymond James’ website, including a former UBS broker in Los Angeles. None were in San Francisco, however, which houses 11 former Deutsche Bank brokers, according to the branch’s website.
Raymond James last year reorganized Alex. Brown’s sales management structure in what recruiters said was an attempt to energize the unit with new hires and stronger production.
Dayton began his brokerage career in late 1983 at Merrill Lynch, but left after two years to join Philadelphia Life Asset Planning Company, according to his BrokerCheck history. He signed on with Montgomery Securities in 1993. (NationsBank, which merged with Bank of America in 1998, bought Montgomery in 1997.)
Spokespeople at Raymond James and Merrill did not return requests for comment on Dayton’s move.
In another jump from Merrill, Patrick Ceccacci, who has seven years of experience, left the firm’s 225 Liberty Street office in New York City last week to join Laidlaw Asset Management, the fledgling U.S. wealth unit of U.K. investment bank Laidlaw & Company.
Ceccacci generated $400,000 in annual revenue at Merrill last year, according to Ken Mathieson, a former Morgan Stanley advisor who helped launch the Laidlaw wealth unit in February 2017. Ceccacci first registered as a broker in 2011 with ING Financial Partners, and moved after less than a year to Merrill Lynch, according to his BrokerCheck history.