A husband-and-wife advisor team has left Merrill Lynch and started its own independent wealth management firm in Bethesda, Md.

Edgar L. Parrish and Katherine M. "Katy" Parrish, who manage about $120 million in assets, left Merrill Lynch last week and started Parrish & Company Private Wealth Management LLC.

The firm focuses on clients between the range of $1 million and $15 million, a part of the market that Edgar Parrish feels deserves more attention than it typically gets. "It's really the underserved middle market," he says.

Parrish, who serves as managing principal, says he and his wife felt this was an opportune time to go out on their own partly because of client demand for independent advice and the technologies available for advisors to make the transition.

"The independent space is truly remarkable right now," he said.

The firm, which plans to mainly utilize separately managed accounts in its investment management, is using Pershing LLC as custodian. This gives it access to Lockwood Advisors, which offers 150 separate account managers and 540 investment styles, he says.

The couple has a combined 18 years experience with Merrill Lynch and 52 years experience as financial advisors, according to the firm.

Edgar Parrish will head the firm's investment management and Katherine Parrish, a former economist with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, will direct research and financial planning.