In Latest Post-Sieg Shake-up, Merrill Names New Private Wealth Head

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Merrill Lynch announced Friday that Greg McGauley will succeed the retiring Don Plaus as head of Merrill Private Wealth Management.

McGauley had been the leader of the unit’s Northeast region, comprising New England, New York and Pennsylvania, since 2009. He joined the wirehouse in 1994 as a financial advisor in Hyannis, Massachusetts, later led the Private Wealth Services unit, and was also director of the Rockefeller Center and World Financial Center complexes.

Plaus, who had led the Private Wealth Management unit since 2017, announced in February that he would retire the following month but agreed to extend his stay after former Global Wealth Management head Andy Sieg announced in March that he was resigning. Plaus will transition to retirement over the coming weeks, the firm said.

Lindsay Hans had been appointed to replace Plaus, but upon Sieg’s departure, Hans and Eric Schimpf were named co-heads of Global Wealth Management.

McGauley’s appointment was accompanied by other changes in the wealth management division.

Greg McGauley

Brian Ludwick has been named Pacific Coast division executive, backfilling Schimpf’s role. Ludwick had been the Houston market leader since January 2021. He joined the wirehouse in 2000 as a financial advisor in Crystal River, Florida, and later became that office’s resident director. He subsequently held market executive positions in Louisville, Kentucky and in western Pennsylvania.

Lydia DiClemente has been named head of Merrill Banking Enablement and Merrill Financial Solution Advisors. The firm said she will be tasked with driving growth through Merrill’s FSAs and enhancing delivery of banking capabilities to Merrill clients. DiClemente had led the wirehouse’s Advisor Development Program since 2021.

Erik Vatter is replacing DiClemente as head of the Advisor Development Program. Vatter has been with the wirehouse nearly 12 years, mostly serving as a market executive in York, Pennsylvania and in Florida’s Manatee and Sarasota counties region.

Ken Correa will take on an expanded role as Head of Business and Client Development. He will lead business development and client growth strategies and will partner with products and services leadership teams to drive seamless integration and field adoption across Merrill. He will also continue leading national recruiting, top-advisor recognition programs and the wirehouse’s National Resident Director Strategy.

“With the appointments of these leaders, Merrill remains well-positioned to drive responsible growth and deliver for our clients, advisors, and partners,” Hans and Schimpf said in a statement. “Their experiences and success — in field leadership, serving clients, and leading our growth and advisor training programs — adds tremendous knowledge and valuable perspectives to our leadership team.”