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Account minimum issues spur $115M Merrill adviser to leave

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A Merrill Lynch adviser with $115 million in client assets switched to Raymond James after nine years with the wirehouse, according to his new company.

Brad Parsons made the move because of the regional firm’s greater flexibility for advisers around the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, as well as its marketing support, he says.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, adviser operating as Parsons Wealth Management also cites Merrill’s minimum $250,000 account-size rule, a concern shared by other ex-Merrill advisers.
“You can do business with anybody, any asset size,” says Parsons, 54, of his new company. “I have lots of clients under a quarter million who I know are going to be over $1 million or $2 million in a few years.”

A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch didn’t respond to a request for comment on his departure. Andy Sieg, the head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, has said the firm may reverse its pledge to stop offering commission-based retirement accounts in light of President Trump's orders delaying and possibly repealing the fiduciary rule.

The firm also recruited an international wealth management team that oversaw $576 million, according to our latest roundup of recent hires and moves.
March 6

Parsons joined Raymond James, where he reports to branch manager Rodney Lineberry, on Feb. 17, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He started his advisory career in Charlotte with Smith Barney in 1997, jumping over to Merrill in 2008.

Most of Parsons’ clients work in engineering, he says. The marketing team at Raymond James spent around six hours with him working on targeting prospects with a new website during his recent visit to the company’s St. Petersburg, Florida, headquarters, according to Parsons.

“He has a proven record of serving his clients’ needs, so we’re pleased he discovered the resources and support available to help him grow his business at Raymond James,” mid-Atlantic regional director Van Thompson said in a statement.

Raymond James Financial boasts 7,100 employee and independent advisers in 2,900 offices across the U.S., Canada and overseas. The regional firm has recruited advisers from both Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo in recent weeks.

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