Merrill Mulling New Boss for $35 Billion NYC Office
Brokers at Merrill Lynch’s “flagship” Fifth Avenue Financial Center in New York City, which has 200 advisors managing around $35 billion in assets, are anxious to see who their new manager will be after their old boss, Jeffrey Tucker, was called up to run the New York metro region last week.
Tucker, who was well liked by the advisors in the Fifth Avenue office, replaced Sabina McCarthy, the former New York Metro-area market executive who was named to a newly-created vice chairman role.
Advisors in the region celebrated Tucker’s promotion, according to a source who wrote in Monday. They were also glad to see McCarthy moved into what they viewed as a “non-existent position,” he said, implying she had been moved to a more ambassadorial role with less direct responsibility over the field. The source also proffered some possible replacements being discussed by advisors at the office.
“Last week the applause could be heard throughout the Merrill Lynch offices in New York City and Long Island at the announcement of Sabina McCarthy’s promotion into a non-existent position. Jeff Tucker, our manager at Fifth Avenue, will replace McCarthy at the region leaving our office vacant until a replacement is announced. The names we hear being floated for a new manager are: Matt Grossman, Chandler Root and Joe Doonan.”
While nothing is official, all three possibilities make sense from a geographic standpoint given they are branch or complex managers in the New York area. Grossman, who started his career at Merrill Lynch in 1990, oversees offices in four locations from White Plains, NY, to Greenwich, Conn., according to LinkedIn.
Root is a branch manager in Paramus, NJ. He had been Southwest regional director overseeing advisors in California, Arizona and Hawaii before being moved down by Merrill Lynch chief John Thiel in 2014.
Doonan is a branch manager for Merrill Lynch’s Park Avenue office. He joined Banc of America Investment Services in 2004 and moved to Merrill Lynch in 2009, according to his BrokerCheck record.
The three did not respond to messages seeking comment.
A spokeswoman for the firm stood by the original memo affirming McCarthy’s new role as an important position in helping drive the bank-brokerage partnership but declined to comment on the selection process for a new complex manager.
The source said that one criteria for taking on Tucker’s former position is being able to help drive the firm’s bank-and-brokerage partnership.
“It’s no secret that Bank of America is not happy with the results of their cross-selling initiatives of banking products at our Fifth avenue office, once Merrill’s ‘flagship,’” the source wrote. “This leads us to speculate that the next manager will be a B of A “Kool-aid” drinker to finally push us in the demanded direction of the banking strategy, which is to tie our clients more and more to the bank and not the Financial Advisor.”