A Merrill Lynch team that managed $160 million in client assets has gone independent with HighTower, a spokeswoman said.

Team members Tom Parker, his son Tommy, Patrick Dugan and Paul Spencer opened their new practice last week in West Palm Beach, Florida.

They are the latest advisers to depart the wirehouse, which recently reported that headcount fell by 145 brokers 14,484 for the first quarter. Among the larger producers to exit was Euclides Moreno, a wealth manager focused on international clients. He joined Bolton Global Capital, which said he generated $6.4 million in annual revenue and oversaw $650 million in client assets.

Adviser Tom Parker opened an independent practice with HighTower in West Palm Beach, Florida.
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(Bloomberg News)
(Bloomberg News)

Among HighTower's latest recruits, Parker has more than three decades of industry experience. He and Dugan had been with Merrill since 2009, having previously worked at Smith Barney, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Spencer worked as an equity research analyst at Lehman Brothers before joining Merrill Lynch. The younger Parker started work as a financial adviser at Merrill in 2013.

A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman was unavailable for immediate comment.

HighTower has recruited nine teams so far this year, according to a spokeswoman. The Chicago-based firm recently added WealthTrust, a Houston-based RIA with $6.4 billion in client assets.

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