Cantor Fitzgerald Wealth Unit Lures Merrill Lynch Executive

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Matthias Rieker

Cantor Fitzgerald hired a veteran Merrill Lynch executive to grow its fledgling wealth-advisory business.

Scott Hotham joined Cantor Fitzgerald Wealth Partners and will report to Chief Executive Stan Gregor, the New York firm announced Thursday. He will be responsible for expanding the infrastructure of the firm's investment platform.

Cantor Fitzgerald, a longtime institutional broker, last year started to offer wealth advice for individual investors, hoping to tap into the trend of financial advisers leaving big wirehouses like Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley ( MS ) to join independent firms.

Merrill Lynch has shrunk from about 17,000 advisers in 2008 to about 13,700 now. Bank of America Corp. ( BAC ) bought the brokerage in January 2009.

"The opportunity for breakaway advisers was exciting six years ago and it's no less exciting and no less of an opportunity today," Mr. Gregor told The Wall Street Journal in March.

In a news release, Mr. Gregor said: "We are assembling a top notch team with tremendous talent." Hiring Mr. Hotham, he said, will help Cantor Fitzgerald's effort to attract more successful advisers.

Mr. Hotham in the same statement called Cantor Fitzgerald Wealth Partners "the future of the wealth management business." He was the head of institutional client solutions and strategy at Merrill Lynch, where he worked for 24 years in various roles. He reported to Riley Etheridge, the head of client segments and advisor development, who promoted Mr. Hotham after a leadership shakeup in 2011.

Mr. Hotham had previously served as the regional manager of the South Atlantic region, where he oversaw 1,400 employees in 65 offices across six states, Cantor Fitzgerald said.

--Corrie Driebusch contributed to this article.

Write to Matthias Rieker at matthias.rieker@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications

This item was corrected at 5:17 p.m. ET because the original version named the wrong person when describing whom Scott Hotham reported to at Merrill Lynch. He reported to Riley Etheridge, the head of client segments and advisor development, not wealth-management chief John Thiel.

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