Jaunary 17, 2023
By Mason Braswell
In a wave of departures before the President’s Day weekend, three Merrill Lynch teams that had generated over $15 million in revenue combined joined Rockefeller Capital Management’s private wealth division on Friday, according to a well-placed source.
The moves include seven brokers who had spent a total of 134 years at Merrill, according to registration records.
The largest exit is a Florida team known as the Jones Connolly Group that produced $10.4 million, the source said. The group, which managed $2.5 billion, is opening a new office for Rockefeller in Orlando and includes advisors Garrett M. Jones, Sean P. Connolly, Gregory H. Pollock and Phillip T. Dobbs along with seven support staff.
Jones had spent all of his 21-year career with Merrill, and Connolly started at Merrill in 2003 after four years at a Florida brokerage. Dobbs began his career at Merrill in 2011, according to BrokerCheck.
All except for Pollock, who was based in Rockledge, Florida, had worked from a Merrill office in Winter Park, Florida, according to registration records. Jones and Connelly were perennial figures on Forbes’ best-in-state rankings, according to their former team page. They are calling their practice the Jones Connolly Pollock Group at Rockefeller.
A spokesperson for Merrill did not immediately return a request for comment.
Merrill for its part has sought to make a return to experienced broker hiring after five years of focusing almost exclusively on novice producers and encouraging its existing brokers to add more customers.
Merrill President Andy Sieg said in a January podcast interview that attrition had slowed back to a historical average. He said half of those who have left in recent years have been serial career movers while others have left because they could not handle compliance requirements or for offers that “defy any rational economic analysis.”