Six-Million-Dollar Merrill Team in Dallas Joins Rockefeller
Rockefeller Capital Management has hired an eight-person team in Dallas from Merrill Lynch that was generating around $6 million in fees and commissions.
The new Dallas team was overseeing almost $1 billion of customer assets at Merrill, according to three sources. Dahlander had worked at the Thundering Herd for 26 years, and Preston and Swedlund for 11 years, according to their unsullied BrokerCheck histories.
In an e-mailed statement confirming the move, Preston confirmed the size of the team’s books and took an indirect swipe at the pressure that Bank of America-owned Merrill and other wirehouses have put on advisors to cross-sell banking products.
“Many big financial organizations today are very interested in financial products like credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and commercial lending,” he wrote. “Our focus will be to continue to provide consistent planning and perspective to our client families to make the best use of their investments.”
A spokeswoman for Merrill did not immediately return a request for comment.
The Dallas team, which also includes advisor Lauren Turbitt and three support staff, were wooed by Michael Armondo, who joined Rockefeller a year ago to oversee its expansion in Texas and who had been the team’s complex manager.
They will be the third group of advisors, each of which came from Merrill, in the Crescent Court location. Rockefeller opened the office last June with a $4.5 million team led by Neil D. Rubinstein and James D. Sandfort, and supplemented it in November with another $4-million trio of advisors headed by 45-year Merrill vet Arthur Alexander.
New York-based Rockefeller has added 31 teams nationally since it was recapitalized in 2017 under private equity firm Viking Global Management with plans to expand from a multi-family office to a broader wealth firm for the very wealthy, according to a firm official. The company, which sources said has been offering equity participations to top teams, is led by CEO Greg Fleming, the former head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management who rose to prominence as a Merrill investment banker and briefly served as the firm’s president.
Rockefeller executives have outlined ambitions to grow by the end of 2022 to about 200 wealth management teams from 31 today. It has been offering million-dollar-plus producers “competitive” signing offers that equal 175% to 200% of their trailing-12-month revenue, with the fillip of the equity award, according to several recruiters.
Preston wrote that his team was impressed by the cachet of the Rockefeller name, calling the firm one of the “oldest and most successful family offices in the country.”
“My family has been in the wealth management business for over 50 years,” he adds on the team’s new website. “Our clients now have access to the established Rockefeller platform while experiencing family office management.”
Preston’s father-in-law and Dahlander’s father started in the industry in the late 60s and retired about 15 years ago, Preston wrote in the e-mail.
A wirehouse veteran, Preston had been with Merrill since December 2008. He spent the previous 17 years of his career with UBS Financial Services and predecessor firm PaineWebber.
Dahlander worked for all but six months of his 26-year career at Merrill, according to BrokerCheck.
Swedlund started his career in 2002 at UBS in 2002, moving to Merrill the same month as Preston in late 2008, the database said. Turbitt has been a registered rep since she joined Merrill in November 2015, according to BrokerCheck.
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.