Rockefeller Nabs RBC Recruiting Head Parker and Merrill Texas Manager Armondo
Rockefeller Capital Management is continuing its rush into wealth management by hiring two executives with well-honed recruiting skills from Merrill Lynch and RBC Wealth Management to oversee hiring in New York and Texas.
Michael Parker, who has run recruiting at Royal Bank of Canada’s U.S. wealth management business for the last 16 months, will oversee Rockefeller’s hiring and field management in the Northeast from its New York headquarters. Michael Armondo, who is head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s four-office Dallas complex of some 300 advisors, will play a similar role in Texas.
Parker and Armondo, each of whom have a quarter-century of brokerage experience, will join Rockefeller in a few months as managing directors, said several sources familiar with their plans.
The additions underscore Greg Fleming’s drive to deploy the capital that private equity firm Viking Global Investors has poured into the expanding family office of the Rockefellers by tapping managers from Merrill and Morgan Stanley, where he was a senior executive. Fleming joined Rockefeller 14 months ago.
Parker, who began his career as a Merrill broker in 1994 and spent seven years building HighTower Advisors’ breakaway broker efforts, will report to Michael Outlaw, Rockefeller’s head of eastern field management. Outlaw joined Rockefeller last summer after a 21-year career with Morgan Stanley. In the last three months, he has recruited ten multi-million-dollar advisers in Atlanta from UBS and Merrill.
Armondo will report to Chris Dupuy, chief operating officer for Rockefeller’s private wealth business. Dupuy had worked at Merrill for 29 years prior to his departure from the firm in 2014. Rockefeller last week hired Jason Rich, who was once head of recruiting at Merrill, to run “advisor strategy and transitions” reporting to Dupuy.
The spate of field-management hires illustrates Fleming’s decision to rely on in-house recruiters to build Rockefeller’s retail brokerage prowess. The firm is offering outside headhunters below-market fees to bring in brokers, according to two recruiters, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
RBC spokeswoman Jonell Lundquist confirmed that Parker has resigned.
“RBC Wealth Management reported two consecutive years of record advisor recruiting (2017, 2018) thanks to the hard work of our 11-person recruiting team,” she wrote in an email. “We expect the recruiting momentum at RBC Wealth Management to continue.”
A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman declined to comment on Armondo’s status at the firm, which has several vacancies in its Southwest region. Vince Fertitta, head of Merrill’s “Mountain South” division that included Armondo’s branches, stepped down from his position last month and has not yet been replaced.
“As excited as I am about the future, I will truly miss each of you,” Armondo wrote in a resignation email sent Tuesday to his “friends and partners” at Bank of America. “We have celebrated, commiserated, laughed and cried together.” The email did not mention his plans to join Rockefeller.
Armondo, a West Point graduate who has boasted to his troops that he lives in a house formerly occupied by a Dallas Mavericks star, began his wealth management career in 1994 as a broker in a Merrill San Antonio branch, according to his LinkedIn profile. He transitioned after six years to sales management positions in Florida, Houston and Dallas, and was promoted to Dallas market executive last year.
Neither Armondo nor Parker responded to requests for comment. Sources said Parker was eager to move to a New York-based position after 18 months of back-and-forth travel from his New Jersey home to RBC’s headquarters in Minneapolis.