October 17, 2022
By Jake Martin and Mason Braswell
First Republic Bank’s private wealth division on Friday pulled from Merrill Lynch a five-person team overseeing $900 million in client assets in New York City and another Merrill broker in Washington D.C. with $230 million in assets.
In the larger of the moves, Laszlo (Paul) Vasady-Kovacs, a 21-year industry veteran who had been with Merrill since 2017, joined First Republic with the corporate title of managing director, according to his registration records and a Monday announcement from First Republic.
His team, known as VK Wealth Management at Merrill’s “SD Financial Center” office on Liberty Street in Manhattan, had generated about $7 million in annual revenue, according to two sources familiar with the move. One of the sources said he had been the third-largest producer at the Liberty Street branch.
Support staff Jay L. Goldstein, Christian L. Martinez, Dana M. Shaker and Sean P. Hanigan, also made the move to First republic.
Vasady-Kovacs had joined Merrill in 2017 right before it put in place a five-year freeze on veteran broker recruiting. He and a partner, Joseph P. Gabriele, had generated $7 million on a billion-dollar book of business at the time. (Gabriele, a 42-year brokerage veteran who worked with Vasady-Kovacs for two decades, left the industry a year after the move, according to his BrokerCheck report.)
Vasady-Kovacs, who could not immediately be reached for comment, had ranked #24 on Forbes’ 2022 list of best wealth advisors in New York City. He works with high net worth families, according to First Republic’s announcement.