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Merrill Lynch Wealth Management President Andy Sieg

Head of Merrill’s Thundering Herd Andy Sieg Departs for Citi

The longtime executive will lead Citigroup's wealth management unit; Lindsay Hans and Eric Schimpf will co-lead Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, reporting to Bank of America's CEO.

Andy Sieg, who has served as head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management for the last six years, is leaving the wirehouse, Bank of America announced Thursday afternoon. Sieg will join Citigroup later this year to run its wealth management division, reporting to CEO Jane Fraser, according to Bloomberg.

BofA has named Lindsay Hans and Eric Schimpf to replace Sieg as presidents and co-heads of Merrill, reporting to Bank of America Chair and CEO Brian Moynihan.

In its announcement, BofA gave no reason for Sieg’s departure, saying he led “the business through a period of sustained growth and modernization of technology for advisors and clients.”

There’s been some recent shakeup in Merrill’s executive leadership, with Hans recently being appointed to lead Private Wealth Management, succeeding Don Plaus, who announced his retirement after 32 years at the firm.

Most recently, Schimpf, who started at Merrill in 1994 as a financial advisor, was serving as a division executive for the Pacific Coast and co-head of the enterprise advisor development program.

Together, Hans and Schimpf will oversee Merrill’s 25,000 employees and $2.8 trillion in client assets.

Image provided by Merrill Lynchhans-schimpf-merrill.jpeg

The personnel shifts come after Merrill Wealth reported it boosted its advisor head count year over year across all of its wealth management businesses, according to its Q4 2022 earnings report. During the earnings call in January, Sieg predicted the firm would continue to see 3% to 4% average advisor growth per year over the next decade.

Merrill has gone through significant change over the last several years, from being acquired by Bank of America during the 2008 financial crisis to pumping the brakes on recruiting experienced advisors.

The firm returned to recruiting veteran advisors, although Sieg said he would not get into bidding wars and chase advisors being wooed by outsize recruitment packages from rivals.

Sieg started out in public policy in Washington, D.C., joining Merrill in 1992. In the late 1990s, he served as assistant to Merrill’s then-CEO Dave Komansky.

“My older brother worked at Merrill Lynch, and the then-CEO was a friend of my father's and our families, coincidentally through Penn State—Bill Schreyer,” Sieg said in a recent interview on Mindy Diamond’s podcast. “So I felt a connection to Merrill, and I was also fascinated and always have been by markets. There’s no better place to be involved in financial markets and the practical side of economics than to join Merrill Lynch.”

From 2005 to 2009, Sieg served as a senior wealth management executive at Citigroup and then returned to Merrill in 2009, after its acquisition by BofA.

Sieg returns to Citi with a mandate to build up the bank's U.S. wealth management division, a business that Fraser has said is strategically important for the firm. Two years ago, the bank restructured its wealth unit, combining the high-net-worth private bank with advisory services for less affluent clients. 

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