Merrill Reorganizes Complex Structure in Southern Calif and Nevada
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is reorganizing its southern California branch complex structure and creating an autonomous market for its Nevada branches.
Carole Wentz, who had overseen four offices in Merrill’s Greater Orange County market, has assumed responsibility for two offices in Newport Beach and continues to run one of her former branches, according to a memo from Western division executive Jeff Markham. Her domain includes about 160 brokers, a spokeswoman said.
The Newport Beach complex had been managed by Elias Dau, who was terminated in June for “loss of management’s confidence as a result of poor judgment in a leadership role,” according to a U5 filing with state securities regulators. The conduct did not involve clients, the disclosure specified.
Three branches that Irvine-based Wentz had managed in Brea, Laguna Niguel, and Costa Mesa have morphed into the Indian Wells complex that remains under the baton of market manager Mark Kremers. The complex has been renamed the Orange County Inland Empire market, and includes 142 brokers.
Merrill’s Nevada offices in Las Vegas, Reno and Henderson, which have 79 brokers and were overseen by Kremers, are being spun out into their own market, according to the memo. A manager for the Nevada offices has not yet been named.
The changes “allow us to further capitalize on growth and better serve our clients,” Markham wrote.
Wentz, a 25-year Merrill veteran who in 2010 served as the firm’s national sales manager and was associate director of the Atlanta Buckhead complex before assuming the Orange County role, did not return a call for comment. She began her brokerage career with American Express Financial Advisors in 1993.