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The Pines Wealth Management team

$500M Merrill Team Breaks Away to Launch North Carolina RIA

The Pines Wealth Management will custody with Schwab and use Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments for brokerage business.

A team of two Merrill Lynch advisors has broken away from the wirehouse to launch their own registered investment advisor, The Pines Wealth Management, in Southern Pines, N.C., according to regulatory filings.

The team, led by advisors Evans Neville and Shelly Robinson, were previously part of the Neville Robinson Group at Merrill, where they managed nearly $500 million in client assets, according to Neville, who started his career in financial services in 1993, was with Merrill for nearly 30 years, according to his BrokerCheck profile. Robinson was with Merrill for about eight years.

A spokeswoman for Merrill declined to comment.

The firm will use Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments for brokerage business, and will custody with Schwab. The RIA has also joined the Protocol for Broker Recruiting.

The Pines principals Neville and Robinson are joined by Colleen O’Donnell, senior registered wealth management client associate, and Leslie Harrington, wealth management client associate.

“Being a registered investment advisory firm allows us to deliver personalized service at a much higher level,” Robinson said in a video on the team’s website. “We’ll have access to comprehensive resources, state-of-the-art technology, and the freedom to hand-select solutions that best meet our clients’ needs.

The RIA will provide comprehensive financial planning and asset management to pre-retirees, retirees, executives, small business owners and multi-generational families, according to its website.

The move follows news on Tuesday that two Greensboro, N.C. advisors left Merrill to launch their own business with Sanctuary Wealth’s support. Vincita Investment Partners, run by partners JJ Marus and Lauren Norris, joined Sanctuary’s “partnered independence” model, bringing $700 million in client assets from Merrill.

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