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$490M Florida Team Moves From Merrill to Raymond James’ Independent Channel

The move from the trio of advisors in Ocala, Fla. comes several months after a $450 million team made a similar jump from the wirehouse to Raymond James.

A Florida-based team with about $490 million in managed assets is joining Raymond James’ independent advisor channel from Merrill Lynch.

Advisors John Meffert, Warren Scroggie and Ross Davis will operate as Scroggie Meffer Davis and Associates in Ocala, Fla. (client services associate Amanda Bryan will also join the team). 

The firm specializes in working with business owners, healthcare professionals, family offices and retirees. Meffert said the move to Raymond James’ indie advisor channel would allow the firm “the autonomy to structure and run the business” as it sees fit.

According to FINRA records, Meffert has more than two decades in the industry, having joined Merrill in 2014 after stints at Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley. Scroggie joined Morgan Stanley in 1999, with a subsequent stint at Banc of America Investment Services, before joining Merrill in 2009. Davis joined Morgan Stanley in 2015 before moving to Merrill in 2019.

Last week, Raymond James announced that a $950 million team of five advisors and four branch professionals would join Pinnacle Asset Management, part of Pinnacle Financial Partners, a bank branch affiliated with Raymond James’ financial institutions division. Like the Merrill team, the Pinnacle team is Florida-based (in this case, out of Ponte Verda) and will use Raymond James’ independent contractor division for brokerage business.

The firm also recently announced several senior leadership changes as part of a broader “multi-year succession planning process,” including Paul Reilly stepping down as CEO in fiscal year 2025 to be succeeded by current CFO Paul Shoukry (chief accounting officer Butch Oorlog will move into Shoukry’s position).

The firm also promoted Tom Walrond, a senior vice president and division director, to president of Raymond James & Associates, the firm’s employee affiliation model. He replaces Tash Elwyn, appointed president of the company’s Private Client Group. Scott Curtis, who was promoted to chief operating officer, previously filled that role.

In November, Shannon Reid became the head of the firm’s independent contractor division, replacing Jodi Perry, who became the national head of advisor recruiting. Several months later, Alex David, the former president and CEO of Stifel Financial’s independent contractor b/d, joined Raymond James as the Northeast director for its independent advisor channel, the role left vacant by Reid’s promotion.

Raymond James’ indie channel scooped up another Florida Merrill team earlier this year. The Anderson McKelvey Group, which consisted of advisors Jesse Anderson, Christopher Mckelvey and Anthony Gilotti, managed about $450 million in client assets when they moved. 

The firm works with retirees, business owners and corporate executives, particularly in the aerospace and defense industries. It is based in Winter Park, just outside Orlando and about an hour’s drive from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

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