D.A. Davidson & Co., a full-service investment firm, is scooping up the employees and certain assets of Morton Clarke, a Seattle-based broker-dealer and RIA that is winding down, according to the companies.

Morton Clarke’s seven remaining investment professionals will join D.A. Davidson in late February and work from the latter’s offices in downtown Seattle. The move will boost D.A. Davidson’s Seattle headcount by about 10%, and close out business for a small broker-dealer that had specialized in municipal bond deals and managing high-net-worth client assets for 17 years.

The arrangement is not an outright acquisition of interests or shares in Morton Clarke’s assets and books of business. The Seattle-based broker-dealer is winding down. Its legal entity will retain its liability and assets, and D.A. Davidson will not take on its bond inventory, Brock Loen, a senior vice president and Seattle branch manager, said in an interview.

Loen oversees D.A. Davidson’s individual investors group, and the seven professionals  who join the firm will report to him. Individual investment management accounted for about one third of Morton Clarke’s business. Overall, D.A. Davidson has about 335 financial consultants in its individual investor group, who manage about $30 billion in investable assets, Loen said.

“They are people we have known for a long time,” Loen said. “They have a very good reputation in Seattle, and their business is consistent with the business we do at D.A. Davidson.”

Two of Morton Clarke’s original founders, John Morton, senior vice president of its individual investors group, and Steve Clarke, senior vice president of fixed-income capital markets, will join D.A. Davidson. The professionals joining the new firm are: Trent Morton, senior vice president in its individual investor group; Scott Hitchcock a senior registered associate; Mary Sue Brenner, a vice president of institutional sales; Nolan LaFrombois; and Patricia Hurd, a senior registered sales associate in the fixed income capital markets division.

Donna Mitchell writes for Financial Planning.














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