Merrill Lynch loses $1B team to William Blair

Walsh, Amar & Associates joined the newly established Los Angeles office of William Blair
Michael Walsh (left), Ashley McGuinness and David Amar joined the newly established Los Angeles office of William Blair in February.
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A team that managed $1 billion at Merrill Lynch quit the wirehouse to sign on with William Blair, the company said.

Walsh, Amar & Associates joined the newly established Los Angeles office of the boutique wealth manager in February, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records, weeks prior to the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.

Chicago-based William Blair specializes in investment banking, investment management and private wealth management. It has been expanding at a slow but steady pace in the past five years, expanding to six cities, according to the firm.

William Blair had about $38 billion in private wealth assets as of March 31, according to the company.

The latest hires include advisors Michael Walsh and David Amar, business manager Ashley McGuinness and client relationship associate Bailey Harrison.

More often than not, wirehouses were on the losing side of these moves.
December 30

Walsh is an industry veteran, having started his career at Merrill Lynch in 1991, according to BrokerCheck. He later did stints at Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan Securities before returning to Merrill in 2014.

Amar began his career at J.P. Morgan Securities in 2005, per BrokerCheck. He moved with Walsh to Merrill in 2014.

A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch was unavailable to comment on the team’s departure.

Other recent billion-dollar advisor moves include a $2 billion team that quit UBS for Morgan Stanley in early March and a $1.8 billion team that ditched Merrill Lynch to join RBC in February.

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Recruiting Wirehouse advisors William Blair & Co. Merrill Lynch Boutiques
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