Advisors headed for Merril Lynch, who oversaw $800 million in client assets, are the latest to leave Barclays before it merges its wealth management operations with Stifel.

Advisors Jim Ertmann and Ben Foster generated $5.8 million in production during a seven year stint at Barclays, according to Merrill. They now are part of Merrill's Private Banking and Investment group in Chicago, reporting to regional managing director Brett Thelander,

Ertmann and Foster focus on ultrahigh-net-worth clients in the Midwest, doing business as the Ertmann – Foster Group, Merrill said.

As its deal with Stifel nears, Barclays’s wealth unit has lost over $6 billion in client assets and close to 50 advisors, according to  On Wall Street reporting.

The most recent defections include another group that moved to Merrill, which had generated $6 million in production before making the switch. While the moves have added up, recruiters and other industry observers say it's too early to characterize the defections as a serious problem.

Stifel has offered lucrative incentives for those Barclays advisors who remain. The brokerage had about 180 advisors when Stifel announced it's plans.

Before joining Barclays in 2008, Ertmann, 51, made stops at Bear Sterns and Lehman brothers. He began his career in 1996 with Goldman Sachs, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck records.

Foster started in the business in 2002 with Bear Sterns, and landed at Barclays six years later.


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