Merrill Fills Southern California Complex
Merrill Lynch has tapped a new manager to oversee its 159-advisor Orange County complex, as the wirehouse musical chair phenomenon intensifies.
Joseph D. Holsinger, who has been with Merrill since 1993, has replaced Carole Wentz in the wealthy southern California territory. Wentz was promoted two weeks ago to run Merrill’s “Texas Mountain South” division.
Merrill is looking for a replacement for Holsinger to head the San Diego complex, a Merrill spokesman said. Holsinger, who had been in San Diego for seven-and-a-half years, according to his LinkedIn profile now oversees a larger market with around $21.8 billion in client assets and branches in Newport Beach, Irvine and Seal Beach.
Elias R. Dau—a former manager of Merrill’s Newport Beach branches who was terminated in June—has found a new position. He is now a broker in a Costa Mesa office of Principal Securities, the independent broker-dealer subsidiary of insurance company Principal Financial, according to his BrokerCheck record.
The shifts in part reflect the continuing challenge big firms are finding in mustering senior manager talent in the field amid rapidly changing priorities. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in recent weeks has redeployed which this week several veteran managers in an effort to fill geographic gaps in New York City, Chicago and Boca Raton, Fla.
Holsinger began his brokerage career in 1990 with Shearson Lehman Brothers in Florida, became a resident director of a Merrill branch in that city, and had stints with the firm as a regional sales manager in Detroit and regional managing director in the Southwest prior to moving to San Diego, according to his LinkedIn profile.
A Principal Financial spokeswoman confirmed that Dau had joined the firm as a “managing director” but declined to comment further. The former manager, who spent 13 years of his 18-year brokerage career with Merrill, did not respond to a message left at his new office.
He was discharged in June for “loss of management’s confidence as a result of poor judgment in a leadership role,” according to a summary of the U5 filing provided by state securities regulators. The conduct did not involve customers or customer accounts, it said.
The Newport Beach complex was realigned under Wentz following Dau’s departure.