A Merrill Lynch team managing $535 million in client assets has left the wirehouse to join Raymond James & Associates, the firm's employee broker-dealer.

The group, now known as Spanos Group of Raymond James, generated more than $5 million in annual revenue while at Merrill. They joined Raymond James in Beaver, Pa., opening the firm's first office in the western part of the state.

The team's leader, Samuel Spanos, joined Raymond James as a managing director and branch manager. Spanos had been with Merrill Lynch since 1980, according to FINRA records. He said in a statement that he had been keeping track of Raymond James' growth for a long time.

"The firm’s leadership impressed me – most of the senior people still have books of business – so they really understand what it means to meet clients' needs and put clients' interests first," Spanos said.

The Spanos Group includes advisors Gennaro Marsico, Todd Todorich, Robert Lewis, George Kruth, Mark O'Leary, and Joseph Thompson. Also moving with the advisors are senior registered service associates Vickie Bobchak, Tracy Starkweather, and Stephen Kimmel.

Kruth started his financial services career with Merrill Lynch in 1973, according to FINRA records. He left the firm to work for several small regional firms before rejoining the wirehouse in 2004. Marsico and Thompson joined Merrill the following year.

After working for three years at Dean Witter, Todorich joined Merrill in 1998. Lewis started work at the firm in 1999.

O’Leary worked at Merrill from 2005 to 2011, and then rejoined the firm in 2013 after a brief stint at Maxim Crane Works, according to FINRA records.

Raymond James recently recruited Michael Schipper, a Morgan Stanley branch manager, to oversee its San Francisco office. The Tampa Bay-based firm also pulled in an RBC advisor managing $100 million in assets for its first office in Omaha, Neb.

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