Five Merrill Lynch LatAm advisors exit to launch own firm

By Atholl Simpson

City Wire Americas — View original article

13 Sep, 2016 at 12:48

Five Merrill Lynch global advisors have left the US giant to launch their own Florida-based investment advisory firm in partnership with wealth management support service provider Dynasty Financial Partners.

The new venture, named MAXIMAI Investment Partners, is led by industry veterans Elizabeth (Lisa) van Walleghem, who has been with Merrill since 1993, and Thomas J. (Jim) Butler III, an investor with almost 30 years of experience. During their time at Merrill’s Miami base the duo managed $550 million in client assets.

Joining them at MAXIMAI’s Coral Gables offices are Alejandro Behrens, Daniella Viete, and Ana Bueso — all from the Merrill Lynch Miami LatAm complex.

The independent investment advisory firm will work with ultra-high-net worth entrepreneurs and families from around the world, with a particular focus and experience dealing with Latin American clients.

Its partnership with Dynasty Financial Partners gives MAXIMAI access to the group’s investment platform and integrated marketing solutions and to Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, to custody MAXIMAI’s advisory assets.

The group also provides concierge services to entrepreneurs and families with international financial interests.

Commenting on the new venture, van Valleghem said: ‘One of the main reasons we have decided to launch MAXIMAI is our desire to build stronger relationships with our clients, their families and communities by offering objective and transparent advice unconstrained by the structure of a one-firm model.’

Butler added: ‘Given the pace of change within global markets, we must maintain the agility to identify new developments, tap attractive opportunities around the world and deliver advanced solutions while safeguarding client assets. Independence equips us to do all this and more.’

Expanding business

This is the second group to enter a partnership with Dynasty this year following the agreement it struck with Premia Global Advisors in April this year. The latter was also launched by an ex-Merrill advisor, Miguel Sosa.

At the same time as the Premia agreement, Dynasty also announced a tie-up with Global Investor Services (GIS) which would provide broker-dealer services for its partners firms.

These latest departures from Merrill Lynch’s wealth management team are among a number of advisor exits since the group announced a major restructuring of its international business last year.