J.P. Morgan Nabs Best-in-State Merrill Broker in Florida
A five-person team in Palm Beach, Fla., managing close to $1 billion of customer assets at Merrill Lynch moved Friday to J.P. Morgan Securities.Advisors Christopher H. Andrews, Jacob Robert Webb and David J. Luther moved with two client associates, according to a J.P. Morgan spokeswoman, who provided their approximate asset number. A person answering their phone at their new office in Palm Beach Gardens said they were unavailable to comment.
Andrews, who has been with Merrill for 20 years, ranked #79 in Forbes’ 2019 Best-in-State Top Advisor list. It said that his team had been managing $862 million as of mid-February of this year.
Merrill said earlier this week that it lost a net total of 71 brokers during the second quarter, and Merrill Wealth head Andy Sieg has said that the firm and parent Bank of America have no immediate plans to relaunch its formerly robust recruiting program. The company has been relying on payout incentives and penalties to grow client assets and household accounts.
A Merrill spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Friday’s departure.
Joining Andrews at J.P. Morgan are Jacob Robert Webb and David J. Luther, and client associates Claire Schrotenboer and Giovanna Triana. The team reports to Florida region director Rick Penafiel, but J.P. Morgan Securities Chief Executive Chris Harvey “was instrumental” in coordinating their hire, the company said in a statement. A J.P. Morgan spokeswoman declined to elaborate.
The Andrews group works primarily work with high-net-worth individuals and families, according to its Merrill Lynch website.
“Christopher, Jacob and David are high-caliber advisors who know the Palm Beach market well and will help further expand the firm’s presence in this important region,” Harvey said in a prepared statement.
Earlier this week, J.P. Morgan Securities lost veteran Texas broker Amy Sabin, who had worked at the firm and its Bear, Stearns predecessor in Dallas since 2002, to Steward Partners.
Andrews began his registered rep career in the summer of 1996 with J.P Morgan’s private bank, according to his former Merrill website, but left to join the Thundering Herd in early 1999. He also worked for Goldman Sachs in London for three years as an equities derivatives analyst prior to becoming a wealth manager.
Webb began his brokerage career in 2008 with Merrill, according to his BrokerCheck history. He focuses on investment analysis and trading and portfolio administration. Luther has spent his eight-year brokerage career at Merrill as well, and focuses on retirement planning services, according to the team’s former web biography.