BB&T Strafes Herd, Bags 2nd Merrill Team in 2 Months in Fort Worth
BB&T Scott & Stringfellow has a thing for Thundering Herd Texans.
The Richmond, Va.-based brokerage firm, which has about 275 advisors, on Thursday lassoed Merrill Lynch advisor Don Bescher in Fort Worth after capturing two other Merrill brokers in the city in May.
Bescher, who has spent 21 of his 24 years as a broker with Merrill and was a senior advisor, oversaw $386 million of client assets, according to Forbes’ 2018 Top State Advisor rankings. A person familiar with his book said his team produced around $2.5 million, and was recruited by BB&T’s southwest regional director Jarrod Burgess, who left Merrill Fort Worth in May 2017.
The team’s other advisor, Lee Tennison, who has the title of senior consultant, has stayed with Merrill while the team’s analyst and two registered senior client associates followed Bescher to BB&T.
“Don and his team bring more than 60 years of experience in financial services to a very important and growing market,” Troy Schiermeyer, BB&T’s Texas complex manager, said in a prepared statement.
Schiermeyer himself joined BB&T in 2016 with Merrill credentials. He spent his first 22 years as a registered representative with Merrill in Dallas, according to his BrokerCheck record. Neither he nor Bescher, who worked for three years at Smith Barney before joining Merrill in 1997, returned calls for comment on the motivations for the move.
A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on the firm’s response to the BB&T recruiting. Merrill, which has two offices in Fort Worth, changed the location of the West Fort Worth office where Bescher worked, in June.
In May, BB&T Scott & Stringfellow recruited Larry Milton and Philip Garcia from Merrill to open its Fort Worth office.
Milton, who worked at the Bank of America-owned broker for seven of his 30 years as a broker, began his career at E.F. Hutton in 1988 and also worked at UBS PaineWebber (and its predecessor J.C. Bradford) and at Raymond James & Associates. Garcia began at UBS in 1999 and similarly did a stint at Raymond James & Associates before joining Merrill in 2010.
Schiermeyer, who is based in Dallas, also oversees a BB&T office in Houston that opened in late 2017 with the hire of veterans Will Kopp and Chris Cookson. Each had been with UBS Wealth Americas for about eight years. Kopp previously worked for 11 years at Smith Barney while Cookson sojourned at Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney over the course of his 20-year career, according to their BrokerCheck histories.
None of the BB&T Texas brokers have disclosures on their records.