Merrill Deploys Longtime Manager Tony Bland to D.C.
Merrill Lynch has moved Anthony C. “Tony” Bland to run its 140-broker Washington, D.C., market after a long tour in Florida, as the Bank of America broker-dealer plugs management holes.
Bland replaces James Jeffrey Wood, a 25-year Merrill veteran and Washington native who was deployed in May to Los Angeles to lead the Mountain West region for the firm’s private wealth management group catering to clients with over $2.5 million in assets. Wood replaced Michael A. Rogers, who left in March to head Deutsche Bank’s U.S. wealth business on the West Coast.
The moves continue the daisy-chain network of quick fills that Merrill has adopted this year to fill middle-management vacancies, some of which appear to have been motivated by changes in core managerial functions.
Rather than receiving a significant part of their compensation for recruiting experienced, but expensive advisors from competitors, managers are now being rewarded for having their advisors cross-sell products through other Bank of America channels and adopt home-office portfolio management strategies.
At the same time, Merrill and competitors such as UBS Financial Services and Morgan Stanley have cut their recruiting budgets.
To fill its empty positions, Merril has moved veterans such as Bland to crucial markets while elevating others with less direct management experience in less populated centers. Earlier this month, it assigned a producing branch manager in Saratoga Springs, NY, to oversee an eight-office complex in the region. Earlier this year, an array of managers in Texas, Florida and California transitioned to new assignments.
Bland has spent the last 13 of his 16-year brokerage career at Merrill, according to BrokerCheck, largely in Florida. He joined the firm in 2006 as an associate director and has overseen 140 brokers with $15 billion in client assets in Fort Lauderdale since 2015, according to an online biography. His new complex in D.C. includes some offices in Maryland and Virginia.
A Merrill spokeswoman did not return a request for comment on the moves.
In other summer moves, Merrill in June transferred Silas Girgis from manager of its Houston Galleria complex, with some 150 brokers in five offices, to the smaller Fort Worth market. He replaced Alan Fonner, who shifted in April to oversee three branches in Dallas with 118 brokers, according to Fonner’s LinkedIn profile.
The Dallas complex was divided between Fonner and Chris Miller, who Merrill moved to Frisco from Philadelphia in June to fill a gap left by the departure of 25-year firm veteran Michael Armondo for Rockefeller Capital Management in March.