Ex-Merrill Texas Exec Joins Former Colleague’s Indie Firm
(Updated with comment from Merrill Lynch.)
Former Merrill Lynch Texas Mountain South region director Vince Fertitta has found a new home at the independent broker division of David A. Noyes, an Indianapolis-based firm.Fertitta will join Noyes’ new Sanctuary Wealth Partners unit as its president on June 24, basing himself in San Antonio, Tex., he said. Sanctuary is headed by Chief Executive James R. Dickson, who left Merrill in 2017.
Fertitta, 49, who exited Merrill after 22 years on April 30, said his shift signifies increasing distaste among his peers for the growing bureaucracy of big firms.
“It’s always been an entrepreneurial and self-starter business,” said Fertitta. “Some of that has been lost, and advisors who go independent want to be able to advise clients the way they think is best and not get caught up in worrying about short-term corporate goals.”
Merrill spokesman Matthew Card said that advisor attrition is at record lows at 3% per year.
“Since last year, the attrition rate among Merrill Lynch advisors leaving the firm to join RIAs has been decreasing,” Card said in an email. “Meanwhile, over the last few years, the percentage of recruits from RIAs into Merrill Lynch has been increasing.”
Merrill and Morgan Stanley in the past year have experienced an active exodus of managers, some who left voluntarily and others who were edged out in reorganizations.
For divisional managers such as Fertitta, the changes in direct line responsibility can be dramatic. At Merrill, he was responsible for more than 2,200 financial advisors across 10 states before he left the position. Sanctuary has 50 independent contractors, and aims for 100 by the end of 2019, a spokeswoman said. (Noyes employs about 70 brokers.)
Two former Merrill advisors in suburban New York City who had been managing $125 million joined Sanctuary in January.
Fertitta, whose father was an E.F. Hutton advisor, first registered as a broker in the summer of 1992 with Lehman Brothers. He moved to Merrill in 1996, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
After managing a book for about five years, the Texas native shifted to management as a regional associate director in South Carolina, according to his LinkedIn profile. He subsequently managed complexes in Houston and Chicago before settling in San Antonio in 2008 to oversee 160 brokers.