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Raymond James poaches $206M father-daughter team from Merrill Lynch

A father-daughter team bolted from Merrill Lynch to join Raymond James & Associates.

Gary Wardein and Erin Bethge, who previously managed $206 million in client assets, joined Raymond James Financial’s regional broker-dealer in San Diego in September.

The two operate as Wardein Wealth Management.

ows_2019_10/22/19_Erin Bethge and Gary Wardein
Father-daughter duo Erin Bethge and Gary Wardein joined the regional broker-dealer from Merrill Lynch.

The new recruits are part of a larger recruiting effort by the firm in an effort to expand its headcount out west. Over the last six months, Raymond James has added approximately $710 million in advisors across RIA and BD channels in Colorado, Arizona and Oregon, according to the firm.

Raymond James’ client assets under management rose to $143.1 billion in the most recent quarter from $135.5 billion from the same period in 2018, according to the firm’s quarterly earnings reports.

Advisor headcount across all channels also rose in the last quarter to 7,904 from 7,719 in 2018.

Wardein has 41 years of experience in the industry, 29 of which he spent at the wirehouse, while Bethge spent all of her three years as an advisor at Merrill Lynch before moving to Raymond James.

Wardein prioritized growth — both for his clients and the team professionally — when looking for a new firm, he said in a statement. Wardein and Bethge serve families with a highly personalized, holistic approach.

A spokeswoman from Merrill Lynch didn’t respond to a request for comment on the move.

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