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Merrill boosts offshore team with $1bn JPM advisor

Merrill boosts offshore team with $1bn JPM advisor

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has hired JP Morgan Private Bank veteran Fernando Nicolau as an international financial advisor, in a further sign that the wirehouse has moved from restructuring its international advice business to growing it.

Nicolau (pictured below), whose clients were largely based in Brazil, was responsible for overseeing more than $1 billion in client assets as an executive director at JP Morgan Private Bank.

At Merrill he will work with Miami-based Andre Mendes and Pedro Paulo Silva, who serve the Brazil ultra-high net worth client segment.

Andres de Corral, who manages the Miami complex, welcomed Nicolau to the wirehouse.

‘His years of experience working in the Latin American market make him the right fit for our Brazil client segment,’ he said.

Prior to joining JPM in 2012, Nicolau was with Citibank where he spent 13 years working in Brazil, New York and Miami.  

He is Merrill’s second Miami-based hire for Mendes and Silva’s team this year. In March, the firm recruited Antonio Juliano de Souza from BTG Pactual, and the third international hire it has announced in 2017.

Almost two years ago Merrill announced changes to transform its international advice business to form a specialized group modelled on its Private Banking & Investment Group (PBIG), which services ultra-high net worth clients.

As part of this Merrill doubled minimum balances on accounts of non-US residents to $1 million for existing clients in a select group of core countries primarily in Canada and South America.

Last week, Citywire Americas revealed that Merrill sold its International Trust & Wealth Structuring business to UK financial services company JTC Group in a move to further focus on core areas of its international wealth business.

Don Plaus, head of Merrill Lynch PBIG and International, said: ‘We are committed to the business. We have been in it for some time now and we’re committed to our strategy. We’ve defined it very well and we expect to grow further.’

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