In an effort to expand its presence in the Northeast, Wilmington Trust announced Wednesday it has hired three Merrill Lynch advisors for its New York office.

The Delaware company hired Walter J. Dillingham Jr. as a managing director and business development officer; John M. Lawson as a managing director and investment advisor; and Leigh H. Weiss as a managing director and investment advisor.

All three will Wilmington Trust’s New York office and specialize in serving the endowments and foundations market. They had worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.

Roger W. Hobby, the president of Wilmington Trust FSB's Northeast region, said that the three advisors will “serve as a national resource for our firm as we continue to expand our efforts in the important endowment-and-foundation market segment."

Dillingham is a chartered financial analyst and has 27 years experience in the financial services industry. Most recently, he was director of philanthropic management for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he provided asset management services to endowments, foundations, and health-care organizations throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He held a similar role at Bank of America predecessor Fleet Bank, which he joined in 2000. Earlier in his career, he worked at David L. Babson & Co. Inc., where he worked with institutional investors on sub-advisory and managed account programs. Before that, he worked at Standard & Poor's with institutional investors as a director of managed funds ratings and was an equity analyst covering the financial services sector.

Lawson has more than 18 years of experience working with institutional asset management clients. Most recently, he was a senior institutional portfolio strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. At predecessor company U.S. Trust, Lawson was a senior institutional relationship manager, with a focus on serving endowment and foundation clients. Earlier, he supported pension clients at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and Bankers Trust Co.

Weiss has worked in the industry for 31 years. At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, he was a managing director and senior institutional portfolio strategist. As a managing director at predecessor company U.S. Trust, Weiss was a portfolio manager and strategist. He previously worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker.