NEW YORK Aug 11 HighTower Advisors, the Chicago-based broker-dealer, said on Monday it hired three advisers away from Bank of America's Merrill Lynch office in Fort Myers, Florida.
Pamela Abraham, Jack Thomas and Trevor Swartz officially started at HighTower on Friday after resigning from Merrill Lynch, where they managed $800 million in client assets.
All three brokers previously worked in the same office at Merrill. However, Thomas and Swartz worked as partners, and Abraham worked separately.
Abraham, a 33-year veteran of the industry, said the three teamed up because they all wanted the freedom to take a more individual approach with their clients, using their own style and financial product platforms, and she felt that was no longer possible at large brokerages like Merrill.
"The freedom I once enjoyed to do whatever was best for my client has been challenged by numerous rules and regulations, and I think that's true across the industry," Abraham said.
The three opened a new office for HighTower in Fort Myers.
A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman confirmed the advisers left but declined to comment further. (Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; editing by Andrew Hay)