A team of financial advisors formerly part of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group (PBIG) have left the wirehouse to start their own independent firm in Beverly Hills.
Longtime team members Matthew Celenza, Shannon McLaughlin and Andrea Shieh announced their new registered investment advisory (RIA), Boulevard Family Wealth, July 11. Joining them is another Merrill Lynch colleague, Andrew Aiello, who will lead Boulevard Insurance Strategies. Aiello was previously a senior vice president in Merrill Lynch’s Ultra High Net Worth Solutions department.
The team caters to ultra high-net-worth individuals and families and will continue to focus on multifamily offices, primarily in the Los Angeles area. At Merrill Lynch they oversaw more than $1 billion in client assets.
Celenza said he had considered becoming an independent advisor for close to a decade and was in talks to join Dynasty Financial Partners for close to a year. Boulevard Family Wealth has also partnered with Schwab Advisor Services.
The reason for the move, Celenza said, was that the team was unable to layer in advanced financial planning in the wirehouse environment. As an RIA, they feel they will be able to meet those needs and differentiate themselves as a more “well rounded” business, he added.
In addition to managing asset growth, Boulevard Family Wealth offers clients asset protection guidance, insurance solutions to address numerous needs and goals, estate and trust planning, strategic philanthropy, and advice on business succession.
The firm will continue to work largely with UHNW families but intends to grow its roster of clients with between $5 million and $10 million in liquid assets.
“I’m very particular about brand dilution,” Celenza said. “So unless I meet someone with the same type of business or mind-set as I have...we’re not looking to wholesale our asset management business.”