Merrill Trio in Midwest Bolts to J.P. Morgan
Merrill Lynch, which lost an experienced team of high-net-worth brokers on Friday in New York City to independence, also bade farewell the same day to an up-and-coming team in Chicago.
Jonathan McPharlin, Daniel Halperin, and Charles A. Cooper Jr., who had been based in Merrill’s Northbrook, Ill. branch, moved to a branch of the newly aggressive J.P. Morgan Securities in the Windy City.
The team had been managing $443 million at Merrill, a J.P. Morgan spokeswoman said.
J.P. Morgan, whose retail brokerage roots lie in its parent’s financial crisis-era purchase of Bear Stearns & Co., has been building its small force of about 400 advisors by recruiting heavy hitters in recent months. Advisers from firms such as UBS Wealth Management Americas and Morgan Stanley bolted for some relatively healthy signing packages in anticipation of those firms leaving the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. Merrill, which remains in the pact, also lost an experienced team to J.P. Morgan in Houston.
The hires of the Chicago trio display an increasing appetite to build Morgan’s standalone retail brokerage business following earlier questions about the bank’s commitment to the business.
“The JPMorgan brand is unscathed, and it is amongst the most respected names in the financial services industry,” said Michael Wasserman, a Los Angeles area-based recruiter, who said he was not familiar with the Chicago group but knows that J.P. Morgan is offering “highly competitive” deals. The bank is appealing to wirehouse brokers who want “more of a boutique feel,” he said.
McPharlin first registered as a broker in 2010 at Merrill while Halperin began his brokerage career at Merrill one year later. Cooper similarly began his brokerage career, with Merrill, in 2013. The advisors’ BrokerCheck records have no disclosures of customer or regulatory complaints.
Reached at his new office on Monday, McPharlin declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Merrill did not respond to a request for comment.
Merrill, which like other wirehouses has trimmed its experienced-broker recruiting budget, has, to be sure, scored some recent wins, including the hiring of JP Morgan private banker in Los Angeles in February to its high-end Private Banking and Investment Group.