A Merrill Lynch advisor who managed more than $1 billion in client assets has parted ways with the firm.

Thomas Buck left last week for unknown reasons, and took his daughter Ann, also an advisor for the wirehouse -- and an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader -- with him, sources say.

A firm spokesman confirmed the departures and declined to comment further on the move, which has had recruiters and advisors buzzing over the fates of the father and daughter.

"A broker doing huge numbers, huge assets, never leaves without having another position," says recruiter Michael King, president of Michael King Associates in New York. "Something has caused them to leave. There's no question about it."

Neither of the Bucks returned multiple calls seeking comment.

The senior Buck had been at Merrill Lynch since 1982, according to FINRA records. He was based in Indianapolis. Barron's last year reported his total AUM at about $1.2 billion. Industry insiders familiar with him said Buck was well-known throughout the advisor community, and for being one of Merrill Lynch's biggest producers.

Buck only had one client complaint alleging excessive fees and unauthorized purchase of a security listed on his BrokerCheck file. The complaint was settled for $75,000 in 2006.

His daughter, Ann has been a financial advisor since 2009, according to FINRA. She also has been a cheerleader with the Colts for three years, according to the team's website.

The younger Buck's profile on the site lists her as a financial advisor, but does not mention Merrill Lynch. The Colts did not return calls for comment.

On her Colts online profile, Buck says her greatest accomplishment was joining her dad's team: the Buck Group, where she was a partner.

Her father also has ties to football. The elder Buck played as a linebacker at Indiana University, where he studied economics.  According to a 2010 interview he gave to his alumni paper, the College Magazine, Buck said he remained an avid fan and tailgater.

He also explained his investment philosophy: "I've always preached to my clients that how you do in bad markets is more important than how you do in good markets. Managing your risk is more important than finding avenues to make money."


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