Merrill Lynch financial advisors leave to start new investment firm

Sep 13, 2016, 12:39pm EDT

Nina Lincoff, Reporter

South Florida Business Journal — View Original Article

Continuing the trend of financial advisors leaving big firms to make it on their own, former Merrill Lynch team member Elizabeth van Walleghem and Thomas J. Butler, III have launched the new MAXIMAI Investments Partners.

MAXIMAI is based in Coral Gables, and is a partnership with New York-based Dynasty Financial Partners, which announced the new firm Tuesday. The new South Florida entity will utilize certain Dynasty investment platforms and marketing materials.

Three other former Merrill Lynch alums from the firm’s Miami Latin America team are joining Butler and van Walleghem: Alejandro Behrens, Daniella Viete and Ana Bueso.

MAXIMAI intends to provide concierge financial services to entrepreneurs and families with international financial interests. The firm caters to the ultra-affluent, particularly global clients with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the MAXIMAI website.

“One of the main reasons that 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,” van Walleghem, CEO and co-founder of MAXIMAI, said in a statement.

MAXIMAI is an independent, boutique investment advisory firm based in Coral Gables. The firm’s financial advisors are also registered financial representatives of Miami-based Global Investment Services.

Butler, co-founder of MAXIMAI, was formerly a senior VP at Merrill Lynch International, and worked at the firm for 28 years both in New York and Miami. Van Walleghem joined Merrill Lynch in 1992.

Viete has assumed the role of COO and associate partner at the new firm, Behrens is managing director and associate partner, and Bueso is the manager of client services. Joining the five Merrill Lynch alums are Vivian Velazquez, chief compliance officer, Dynasty member Scott Welch, chief investment officer, and Dynasty member Javier Rivero, senior VP.

MAXIMAI’s offices are located at 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 300.