Envestnet, a Chicago-based wealth management service provider, has hired a former Merrill Lynch executive to lead its market research program into advisor practice and investment management trends.

Karen Lanzetta worked in a number of divisions at Merrill Lynch before her departure in April 2009. Her most recent role at Merrill was a director of the Office of the President. Merrill Lynch is a unit of Bank of America [BAC].

Prior to her position as a director, Lanzetta worked in Merrill’s Financial Institutions Group, where she researched trends and presented market opportunities to investment banking clients. She also spent time working in Merrill Lynch’s corporate strategy division, analyzing business opportunities for the firm.

Jim Patrick, Envestnet’s head of advisory programs, described the hiring as  “coup” in a statement. “We see the headlines about advisors shifting environments and how they are delivering solutions to their clients. We hope to provide quantitative research that reveals even greater detail about what is happening in the advisory marketplace today,” Patrick added.