Nov 27 Snowden Capital Advisors LLC, a boutique
brokerage firm founded last year by former Merrill Lynch
veterans, said on Tuesday it added two adviser teams in
California that manage more than $500 million in client assets.
Advisers John DiCiaccio and Leah Thomson Snell of the
DiCiaccio Group joined New York-based Snowden on Monday, along
with advisers Jon LaMothe and Luis Gonzalez of the
The two teams, based in Pasadena, also came from Merrill
Lynch, the longtime Wall Street brokerage that was acquired by
Bank of America during the financial crisis in 2009.
"We're seeking advisers who share a desire to create a
values-driven, client-centric boutique firm ... and not so much
the bureaucracy and conflicts of interest that exist at bigger
firms," Snowden co-founder Rob Mooney said in an interview on
Mooney, former general counsel and head of business risk
management at Merrill Lynch, opened Snowden for business in
April with fellow Merrill Lynch veteran John Morris, a longtime
financial adviser at the firm.
Snowden's multi-custodian model allows advisers to choose
third-party investments through its clearing platform, removing
the pressure for advisers to sell proprietary products to their
clients. Such pressure is common at the brokerage arms of big
The set-up is similar to those at other wealth-management
start-ups such as HighTower Advisors LLC, which has had success
over the past year in poaching top advisers from the big Wall
Street brokerages, including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney and UBS.
The four advisers who joined Snowden in Pasadena opened a
new West Coast branch office for the firm.
Bank of America confirmed the adviser departures but did not
DiCiaccio, a former senior vice president of wealth
management at Merrill, had been at the firm for three decades
before moving this year. He joined Snowden as a managing
director, as did Gonzalez and LaMothe.
LaMothe is the brother of former Merrill Lynch brokerage
chief Lyle LaMothe, who joined Snowden earlier this year as a
senior adviser and member of the firm's advisory board.