$345M team quits Morgan Stanley to open new Stifel branch

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In the latest sign that Stifel is furthering its aggressive hiring streak, the firm has snapped up a team from Morgan Stanley.

The St. Louis-based regional BD has picked up a slew of advisors this year, primarily from its larger wirehouse rivals. It’s also added wirehouse talent to its board of directors; the former head of Wells Fargo Advisors, Danny Ludeman, joined Stifel last week.

The firm’s newest team, The Huggins Winders Group, is opening a Private Client Group office in Tallahassee, making it Stifel’s 22nd office in Florida. It managed $345 million, according to Stifel.

So far this year, Stifel has opened 14 new branches to accommodate its growing number of hires.

The Huggins Winders Group is comprised of Stephen Huggins, Linda Winders and Huggins’ sons, Blair and JD. Also moving with the team is Registered Client Service Associate Erin Lofy.

Stephen Huggins had spent his entire 31-year career at Morgan Stanley before making the move to Stifel. He joined the firm after his stock broker suggested in 1988 that Huggins consider a financial services career, according to his biography on Morgan Stanley’s website, which was still available on Aug. 23. He served for a time as an assistant branch manager.

His two sons joined Morgan Stanley within the past two years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Winders, a 25-year industry veteran, joined Morgan Stanley from Suntrust in 1997, according to BrokerCheck. Her main focus is in retirement planning and IRA rollovers, according to her biography on Morgan’s website.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

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