Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch – Lacks Business Ethics (Updated 2023)

Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch is a notable wealth advisor in Vero Beach, Florida. His firm makes many claims about its expertise and how much it cares about its clients. But the truth is, they have many conflicts of interest present in their terms and conditions. 

These conflicts of interest incentivize the firm to ignore its clients’ requirements. As an investor, it’s your right to know about these issues so you can make a well-informed decision. The following review will help: 

Who is Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch

Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch is a financial consultant in Vero Beach, Florida. His office is located at 660 Beachland Blvd Suite 101, Vero Beach, FL 32963, US and its contact number is 772-231-9051. It opens from 9 AM to 5 PM on weekdays. 

The name of Brian’s firm is Shambo Schwibner & Associates. They cater to families and claim to help them navigate the challenges of growing their assets, preserving their wealth, and planning their legacy. 

Brian Shambo is the Managing Director of this firm. Other notable people at this firm are Jeremy Schwibner (Senior Vice President) and Scott Schwartz (Assistant Vice President). 

They offer various services to their clients such as long-term care insurance, trust & estate planning services, home loans, succession planning, securities-based lending, exchange funds, educating funding, donor-advised funds, structured lending, charitable trusts, and more. 

While this firm claims to follow a goals-based wealth management process that aligns with the personal and professional lives of its clients, its disclosures disagree. According to their terms and conditions, Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch earns more profits when he ignores your interests. 

The next section of this detailed review will expand on these issues because Brian and his team wouldn’t:

Reasons to Avoid Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch 

When you’re looking into a wealth advisor, it helps to check their professional history. To do so, you should check their FINRA BrokerCheck listing. 

There, you can learn about their past employers, their state licenses, how many years of experience they have, and the legal conflicts they have faced in their careers. The FINRA BrokerCheck listing of Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch reveals one legal conflict. 

It occurred on 1-19-2016. Here, the client alleged that Brian made unsuitable investment recommendations from March 2015 to January 2016. 

Did You know?

Most financial disputes are resolved by ADR methods. The ADR methods include arbitration, negotiation, mediation, conciliation and private judging. However, it needs to be noted that less lawsuits are filed for financial scams than civil crimes, and people try to stick to the ADR methods, due to the dubious agreements by the brokers. 

Merrill Lynch denied this complaint and claim that it was without merit. 

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The client hadn’t specified any damages. 

It’s quite difficult for such disputes to end in the client’s favor. That’s because advisors like Brian make you sign multiple waivers at the beginning of your professional relationship with them. These waivers free them from any accountability in case they give you unsuitable recommendations and cause you losses. 

Another firm that uses this tactic to avoid responsibility is the Schultz Group Morgan Stanley

Charging Hidden Fees

Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch and his team recommend investments that charge 12b-1 fees. This is a percentage fee that depends on the size of your portfolio. Hence, it’s particularly harmful to families and their large portfolios. 

Another issue with 12b-1 fees is that it allows advisors to charge hidden fees. It’s a variable fee and they can charge you hidden fees under its guise.

What’s worse is that the investments that charge this fee don’t give any better returns than those that don’t charge this fee. The SEC had conducted a detailed study on this matter and it found no difference between the returns of the two. 

The study concluded that the ROI of the investments that charge a 12b-1 fee is worse because of the increased costs. 

It’s a marketing fee that companies pay to brokers so Brian Shambo and his team have a monetary incentive for priming such investments. Make sure you review the fees you’re paying in case you opt to hand them your account. 

Selling Investments instead of Recommending Them

Brian and his team earn commissions from the sale of certain investment products. Some investments offer them higher commissions than others. Hence, they have an incentive for promoting those select investments and ignore the rest, even if they are unsuitable for most of their clients. 

This is bad news for most of their clients because they might be receiving subpar returns. 

Ideally, your wealth advisor would recommend investments solely based on their alignment with your goals. But when your advisor earns commissions, they might ignore your financial requirements to make an extra buck. 

It’s highly unethical but quite common. The best way to tackle this problem is to avoid such advisors altogether. 


After checking the problematic provisions and the legal dispute, it’s clear that Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch is not as reliable as he claims to be. His firm is using unethical tactics to trap investors in unfavorable agreements. 

It would be best to find a different wealth advisory firm and avoid Brian’s firm altogether. 

2.6Expert Score
Brian Shambo is Untrustworthy

There are too many red flags in the services and disclosures of this wealth advisor. It seems as if Brian is actively trying to scam investors. That’s why it would be best to find a different financial advisor.

Concern for Clients
  • None
  • History of facing legal disputes
  • Charging hidden fees
  • Sells investments instead of recommending them

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