J.P. Morgan Opens Houston Office Seeded by Big Merrill Team
J.P. Morgan Securities landed two veteran Merrill Lynch brokers in Houston on Friday for its newly aggressive “boutique wealth management unit.”
Thomas S. Holstead and Jason D. Gordon, who helped lead a team that was managing $2 billion of client family assets at Merrill Lynch, are opening a new office in Houston, a J.P. Morgan spokeswoman said. Another advisor, Robert Stanton, who joined Merrill in 2016, also moved along with client associate, Judith Peterson, sources familiar with their practice said.
Three other financial advisors—Bryan A. Leonard, Phillip A. Leonard and Aaron V. Spear—remain at Merrill. Bryan Leonard, the remaining named partner of the team previously known asHolstead, Gordon, Leonard & Associates, was not available to comment, said a person answering his office phone late Friday afternoon.
“Jason and I are thrilled to join this world-class firm and lead the JPMS Houston presence,” Holstead said in a press release that touted the bank’s interest in bringing its “global platform and capabilities” to the Texas city.
Neither Holstead nor Gordon, who both had been with Merrill Lynch for eight years, returned calls for comment. They had operated as Holstead, Gordon, Leonard & Associates at Merrill, according to their former website. The JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment on their production.
J.P. Morgan Securities, which defines itself as a boutique in a press release about the move, hired several Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and UBS Financial Services big hitters in the days leading up to those firms’ withdrawal from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. Several of the new advisors joined a J.P. Morgan Securities office in Dallas that the bank inherited when it took over Bear Stearns & Co. during the financial crisis in 2008.
The moves of Holstead, Gordon and their colleagues occurred at the start of the long Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. Brokers traditionally pick long weekends as opportune times to move, giving them extra hours to set up in new quarters and try to contact their former clients.
Holstead, who has been a registered representative for 17 years, began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co. in 2000 and moved to UBS in 2003, according to BrokerCheck. Gordon began his career at at UBS in 2006. Both joined Merrill in May 2009.
Stanton, who began his career at Kidder, Peabody & Co. in 1994, joined Merrill in 2016 from USCA Securities, according to BrokerCheck.