Top Merrill Broker Patrick Dwyer Leaves Amid Accusations
Patrick Dwyer, one of Merrill Lynch’s most successful advisors, has left under a cloud after a 25-year career that took him to the top ranks of the firm’s “private wealth management” group that services ultra-wealthy clients.
The Miami, Florida-based broker, who led a 12-person team that managed some $3.7 billion and generated over $10 million of annual revenue, left this week while under review for a political contribution that was not approved by the firm, according to sources inside and outside of Merrill.
A spokesman confirmed that Dwyer is no longer employed at Merrill, where the advisor spent his entire career, according to his BrokerCheck history.
Dwyer did not respond to a call for comment. Barron’s earlier this year ranked him #27 among the top 100 U.S. financial advisors.
The “Miami Herald” reported last month that Dwyer contributed $25,000 in 2018 to the campaign of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Petronis in an alleged attempt to influence state regulators to support the broker’s bid to expunge seven customer complaints from his record.
Dwyer has been engaged in a long-running campaign to clean his Central Registration Depository record of the complaints.
In 2015, a California judge denied his two-year courtroom battle against Finra (filed under the pseudonym John Doe) for expungement, leading him to file for the record-cleaning under his own name in a Finra arbitration. He won the arbitration case in the summer of 2017, but Finra responded in February 2018 with the rare step of seeking to vacate the award. It accused Dwyer of “forum shopping” and of “fraudulent manipulation” by failing to disclose the court decision.
Dwyer and Finra last November reached a stipulated settlement, according to court records. The advisor’s BrokerCheck record continues to show the seven complaints, six of which were denied or closed with no-action. One from 2001 settled for $111,000.
Jeffrey Sonn, an Aventura, Florida-based lawyer who represented Dwyer in the Finra expungement dispute, declined to comment.