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Merrill Lynch shakes up unit catering to super rich clients – Financial Planning

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Merrill Lynch wants to better serve its wealthiest clients, and in order to meet this goal, has restructured the teams working with its high-net-worth and ultrahigh-net-worth investors.

Don Plaus is the leader of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking & Investment Group. Merrill Lynch

Financial advisors and experts working with the wirehouse’s international and private banking clients will now operate as one team known as Strategic Wealth Advisory Services, Don Plaus, the head of Merrill’s Private Banking & Investment Group, said in a statement.

The new unit will provide specialized services for private banking, international and institutional clients as needed, the firm says. Those services include wealth structuring, generational wealth and family planning, as well as day-to-day wealth complexity management.

Some key personnel changes come along with the creation of the new team. Linda Patel will become the regional managing director for the firm in Texas. She replaces Bob Johnson, who recently retired. Miami-based Andres de Corral will become the regional managing director for Florida. He was previously a market executive for Merrill’s Miami international complex.

He was promoted and now heads an eighth — up from seven — region of the PBIG, international and institutional unit. PBIG has almost 200 private wealth advisor teams.

Greg McGauley is currently serving as the firm’s regional managing director for the Northeast, and his role will be expanding as he leads the newly formed strategic wealth team.

“With these organizational changes in place, I’m confident we’ll optimize our opportunities and help advisors leverage the resources of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch to meet the unique needs of our clients,” Plaus said in a statement. He was not available to comment directly.

Amanda Schiavo

Amanda Schiavo is an associate editor for Financial Planning. Follow her on Twitter at @SchiavoAmanda.

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