August 15, 2023
By Karmen Alexander
A Merrill Lynch team whose leader said some other high-producing defections motivated his own exit has taken his $2.7 million group to LPL Financial in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Roger J. Relucio Jr., who spent his 17-year career at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, moved to LPL on August 8 along with advisors Pasqualino “Pat” Ruffa and David M. Kraus as well as client associate Jenna Looney. They had overseen around $270 million in client assets and are calling their practice Breakaway Wealth Management, according to an announcement on Tuesday.
Relucio said he began looking around one year ago after finding that the “DNA” of the wirehouses had changed with more “red tape” and continually shifting targets his team had to hit for support such as client associates or funding for marketing events. He was encouraged to break away after seeing larger teams leaving Merrill over the past few years, noting former President Andy Sieg also stepped down in March to join Citigroup.
“You start seeing all these big Merrill FA teams leave, and you’re like, ‘There’s got to be something to this,’” Relucio said in an interview. “And Andy Sieg even left Merrill.”
A spokesperson for Merrill declined to comment on the move and did not immediately return a request for comment on Relucio’s remarks.