Merrill Team in Vegas with $2.4 Mln Production Joins Ameriprise
A five-person team that was generating $2.4 million in annual revenue and managing $273 million of client assets at Merrill Lynch in Las Vegas left last week to join the employee channel of Ameriprise Financial.
Derek Rosenberg, a 20-year brokerage industry veteran who leads three advisors on the team, said he began looking for another employer about a year ago out of concern that Merrill’s focus on new household and new asset growth was affecting the team’s ability to serve existing clients and to effectively prospect. To avoid a payout cut tied to growth hurdles in Merrill’s 2018 compensation plan, the team added 10 new household accounts this year.
“Our team has grown and hit all of those bogies,” Rosenberg said, “but we don’t just want to bring on a client because we need to get to 10. We want to bring on a client who is a good fit.”
A Merrill spokeswoman confirmed the departure but declined to comment on Rosenberg’s remarks. The Bank of America-owned broker-dealer has raised growth hurdles in its 2019 compensation plan, which offers lower payouts to advisors who miss minimum targets and higher payouts to those who meet their growth bogeys.
Rosenberg joined Ameriprise on Friday along with senior broker Richard Orleck, junior broker Travis Docyk, and two client associates. They vetted several firms during their search—including RBC Wealth Management-U.S., Wells Fargo Advisors and UBS Financial Services, according to Rosenberg—but chose Ameriprise because it placed the fewest restrictions on their largely fee-based advisory practice.
Their recruiting package from Ameriprise is in the “high 200%” range of their annual revenue, with back-end bonuses tied to transitioning clients and future book growth. Rosenberg said the team could have negotiated even higher deals from RBC and Wells, but liked the culture that Ameriprise presented, which he likened to that of his first employer, A.G. Edwards.
Rosenberg joined Edwards in Las Vegas in January 1998, left in June 2006 for Morgan Stanley and joined Merrill in March 2010. Orleck, who is based in Red Bank, N.J., spent almost his entire 16-year career at Merrill, with a nine-month interruption in 2013 to work at Morgan Stanley in Laguna Niguel, Calif., according to his Broker Check record. Docyk became a registered securities representative three years ago at Merrill.