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Merrill Tabs Big Goldman Producer

Merrill Lynch, continuing to attract talent to its upper tier of brokers serving clients with more than $10 million in investable assets, bagged a big gun in the last week. Michael Russ, a large producer who oversees several billion in assets—along with his team—moved to Merrill from Goldman Sachs, Merrill officials confirmed Thursday.

Merrill Lynch, continuing to attract talent to its upper tier of brokers serving clients with more than $10 million in investable assets, bagged a big gun in the last week. Michael Russ, a large producer who oversees several billion in assets—along with his team—moved to Merrill from Goldman Sachs, Merrill officials confirmed Thursday. Russ, said to have production north of $10 million in the last twelve months, will be heading a private wealth management team in Dallas, where he’s based.

The firm has aggressively promoted its segmentation strategy, which stratifies clients according to their investable assets—those on the lowest-end utilize call centers; those with $100,000 and up with financial advisors, and those on the top with private wealth managers, a Merrill designation geared towards those who do work related to trust and estate planning and other complex issues. As of the beginning of the year, the firm had approximately $314 billion in assets from clients with $10 million or more.

Goldman has seen large producers such as Russ and Sanford Katz, an $8 million Goldman producer, who left for UBS PaineWebber a couple of months ago, defect as the firm pushes for even higher yearly production figures.