In recruiting sweep, Benjamin F. Edwards lures 8 advisors from 4 rivals

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Benjamin F. Edwards, a regional broker-dealer, picked up eight advisors overseeing more than $600 million in client assets, a spokeswoman said.

The new hires, the majority of whom come from Wells Fargo, build on years of aggressive recruiting by the St. Louis-based firm, which was founded in 2008. One of the other hires joined Benjamin Edwards two months after being terminated from SunTrust.

Advisors joining from Wells Fargo include David Herr and his son Tyler in Chandler, Arizona; Bill Raymon in Birmingham, Alabama; James Garner in Atlanta; and James Goehl in Woodstock, Illinois.

All the advisors except the younger Herr started their careers at A.G. Edwards, which later became part of Wachovia and then Wells Fargo. Tyler Herr got his start at Wells Fargo in 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

The family of Benjamin F. Edwards founder, Benjamin F. "Tad" Edwards IV, founded A.G. Edwards in the 19th century. Around the time of the firm's merger with Wachovia, Edwards struck out to found his own company.

His eponymously-named firm opened its first branch in 2009. It currently has 67 offices in 26 states and more than 500 employees, according to the company. Benjamin Edwards has assets under management of nearly $24 billion.

The firm's other new recruits include former Stifel advisor David Kohlmeyer, who joined Benjamin Edwards's office earlier this year in Wheaton, Illinois. An advisor of 25 years, Kohlmeyer had been with Stifel since 2009, per BrokerCheck records. He previously worked at Wells Fargo and A.G. Edwards.

Kevin Rodeffer left LPL Financial, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer by head count, to join Benjamin Edwards in Galesburg, Illinois. Rodeffer had been affiliated with LPL since 2010, per BrokerCheck records.

The firm's recruit from SunTrust Bank, Anthony Swart, is based in Sarasota, Florida. SunTrust discharged him in March, per a note in his BrokerCheck record, for: "Affixed a copy of a client signature to a new updated documents [sic]."

That termination has led to a run-in with Michigan's securities regulator, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Swart had been previously registered in the state while he was affiliated with SunTrust, according to a regulatory notice issued June 14 by Michigan's regulator. In May, he applied for a new registration through Benjamin F. Edwards.

But after reviewing his records, the regulator has declared that it intends to deny, condition or limit Swart's securities agent registration application "because Applicant engaged in dishonest or unethical behavior in the securities industry within the previous 10 years," according to the state's regulatory notice. Swart may request a hearing on the matter within 30 days.

Swart was not available for immediate comment.

A spokeswoman for Benjamin Edwards said: "Because this involves personnel and regulatory matters, we are not able to comment."

A spokesperson for SunTrust declined to comment.

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Recruiting Regional BDs Wirehouse advisors Benjamin Edwards Stifel Financial LPL Financial SunTrust