First Republic Hires Another Merrill Broker in California
First Republic Bank’s burgeoning Wealth Management unit has snapped up another Merrill Lynch producer, this time in Napa, California.
Dan Dwyer, a 33-year industry veteran, joined the San Francisco-based First Republic on Friday after nine years at Merrill. He was overseeing around $160 million in client assets and generated revenue of about $1.5 million for Merrill over the past 12 months, according to a person familiar with his practice.
The move occurred a day after Merrill announced its controversial 2019 compensation plan to brokers. The Bank of America wealth management unit broke new ground by saying that it will withhold payout on the first 3% of monthly revenue credits that brokers produce next year, up to a maximum of $4,000 a month.
While Dwyer’s negotiations were clearly underway before the plan was announced, his move to First Republic makes the smaller bank an ever more persistent irritant to Thundering Herd executives.
First Republic, which was briefly owned by Merrill Lynch, has been offering lucrative signing bonuses to experienced brokers, most of whom have come from wirehouses, and from Merrill, in particular. Earlier this year, the bank hired Boston-based broker Sam Hodgson, who spent his career at Merrill and was producing $4 million in production. In the same city, it recruited James Atwood, who also spent his three-decade career entirely at Merrill and whose team was generating $22 million in revenue.
A spokesman for Merrill declined to comment.
Merrill Lynch, to be sure, has said that at a time when it has withdrawn from recruiting experienced brokers it also is experiencing record-low levels of attrition among its 14,800 brokers. Through the end of the third quarter, its 2019 attrition rate among experienced brokers (excluding those in its training program) was 1.9%, senior executives have said.
Unlike competitors Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services, Merrill remains in the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, which makes it more vulnerable to getting picked off by other members of the pact.
Dwyer began his brokerage career with Dean Witter Reynolds in 1985, and also worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo before joining Merrill in 2009, according to his BrokerCheck history.
He did not return a call for comment on the move.
“Dan Dwyer is a very successful wealth manager trusted by investors over many years,” Bob Thornton, president of First Republic Private Wealth Management, said in a prepared statement.
First Republic has around 150 brokers in 70 locations, according to its website, which lists Dwyer as the only full-time broker in its Napa office.