RIABiz

News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community

RIABiz

Coming Soon: Multi-Part Series on the Hou-Sear departure from Merrill Lynch

Intensity of breakaway was unprecedented, lawyers and custody execs say

Friday, September 18, 2009 – 5:35 PM by Brooke Southall
Admin:
0 Comments
no description available
Mark Sear [left in dark blue shirt] and David Hou[right in dark blue shirt] : It took a year to get these smiles

David Hou and Mark Sear didn’t climb to the top of the Merrill Lynch & Co. heap by doing things in a half-way fashion.

When the leaders of a Los Angeles-based advisory team with about $20 million of revenues decided they would break away to independence, they decided they would leave nothing to chance.

After planning their formation of Luminous Capital for more than a year, they literally executed the plan in 30 minutes.

So intensive was the planning by the team [weaned on a type-A ethic at Goldman Sachs in their early careers] that their lawyer Brian Hamburger of The Hamburger law Firm and their custodial contact, Fidelity Investment’s Scott Dell’Orfano, will tell you that they’ve never been through anything quite like it.

It was full-on.

Hou-Sear were able to move the practice from the 12th floor of their Century City office tower to the 3rd floor in that half-hour time, hire back virtually their entire staff of 15 employees and order pizza.

Such a story needed a thorough telling. I have interviewed Hou, Sear, their lawyer, their clients, their parents, and business associates of theirs over the past few months.

The result is a moment by moment narrative and a blueprint for advisors who would like to execute a similar strategy.

The story also includes comments from inside Merrill Lynch about the psychological impact the breakaway had on executives and the firm. Robert McCann, the former head of Merrill Lynch’s wealth management business is the key contact in this conversation.

The story will run soon as a three-part series on these pages.


Related Moves

Fidelity Investments loses Kathleen Murphy who largely caught up Fido to Schwab (near $4T) on the retail side by reversing net promoter scores

The 'no whining allowed' leader of the Boston giant's retail business, who oversaw $2 trillion in net new assets, was ready to exit but hung in through a year dominated by COVID-19 challenges

January 23, 2021 – 2:02 AM

Fidelity Institutional looks like a big TAMP after Mike Durbin removes last internal walls between products and advisors after 'meteoric' 2019 leap; two Fido RIA sales legends depart amid the shift

Rich Policastro and Tom Valverde are out after Fidelity Custody & Clearing assets leap to $2.6 trillion AUA, restructuring gets the credit -- and so restructuring gets extended.

March 13, 2020 – 10:36 PM

TD Ameritrade's board suddenly pushes out Tim Hockey after his big misread of RIAs; Tom Bradley name-dropped as successor

The CEO broke the TD promise never to compete with RIAs, took it back and got sent packing

July 23, 2019 – 4:30 AM

Capital Group miraculously recovered after deep 2008 dive but RIA help may get No. 2 American Funds through the next downturn under new CEO

Matthew O’Connor takes the CEO helm of the giant LA-based active manager from Kevin Clifford with conviction not to jam the rudder hard but to be open to new markets

November 2, 2018 – 9:26 PM



RIABiz Directory

The Industry Sourcebook for RIAs

   |    LISTING


RIABiz Directory sponsored by:

Directory Sponsor Logo