Technology was a key factor behind the departure of a $350 million team at Merrill Lynch for Raymond James.

The group opened a new office for the regional firm's employee channel in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They previously generated over $2 million in annual fees and commissions, according to Raymond James.

Team member Brian Pick said they made the move in part because of Raymond James' technology offerings.

"About three years ago we started to look for a firm where we would be allowed to manage our client relationships, manage our clients' portfolios and prepare financial plans that were in our clients' best interests," Pick said in a statement.

Pick added: "There was just no other firm that met all our needs."

He leads the group with adviser Terri Fought.

Fellow team members include Michael Bridgham, senior investment portfolio analyst, Craig Fought, financial adviser, and Christine Engel, senior registered client service associate. They operate as Pick Fought Wealth Advisors of Raymond James. Craig is Terri's son, according to the firm.

Pick was a longtime Merrill Lynch veteran, having started his career at the firm in 1996, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Fought began her career at the wirehouse a year after Pick. Prior to wealth management, she owned several retail stores in Pennsylvania, according to Raymond James.

A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch could not be reached for immediate comment.

They represent the latest hires for the growing St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm. Raymond James now has approximately 7,100 financial employee and independent advisers operating from more than 2,900 locations. The firm's total client assets are approximately $622 billion.

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