Stifel bags $1B advisors in recruiting sweep

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Stifel's latest recruiting sweep netted advisors managing more than $1 billion, the company said.

Like other regional BDs, Stifel has been on a hiring push, luring talent primarily from larger wirehouse competitors.

Stifel attributed this latest burst of new hires to cultural changes at the wirehouses and positive shifts in the recruiting landscape, notably greater regulatory clarity following the demise of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule.

“With many of the uncertainties of DoL behind us, we have re-engaged with both wirehouse and regional advisors looking for a culture that represents their values to serve their clients,” John Pierce, head of advisor recruitment at Stifel, said in a statement. “We believe the financial advisor owns the client relationship, and regardless of protocol or non-protocol, the diverse tapestry of firms and people joining us provides clear evidence that Stifel is becoming the firm of choice for entrepreneurial advisors.”

The majority of the St. Louis-based brokerage's newest hires come from Wells Fargo, and joined within the past two weeks.

Among the biggest new recruits are advisors Dan and Joe Gruber who managed $347 million and $42 million while at Wells Fargo and Raymond James, respectively. They are father and son.

The duo joined Stifel in Redding, California. Dan Gruber has 37 years of industry experience and had worked at Wells Fargo and its predecessor firm, A.G. Edwards, since 1987, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Joe Gruber has 16 years of industry experience and had been with Raymond James since 2009. He also previously worked at Wells Fargo and A.G. Edwards.

Other advisors joining Stifel from Wells Fargo also have past experience at A.G. Edwards, a regional firm absorbed into Wells Fargo almost a decade ago. Those advisors include Michael Heckman in San Rafael, California; Christian Comberg in Charlottesville, Virginia; and Asma Mahmood in Modesto, California.

Also joining from Wells Fargo is Jeff Hughes, a Topeka, Kansas-based advisor who had been with the wirehouse since 2001, according to BrokerCheck records.

Altogether, Stifel's hires from Wells Fargo managed $951 million while at the wirehouse, according to the regional BD. The firm also hired Wells Fargo's Michelle Stebbins to serve as a branch manager in Southfield, Michigan.

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo declined to comment on their departures.

The bank has been losing a steady stream of advisors to its smaller competitors over the past year. Over that same time period, scandals including the opening of millions of fake accounts have plagued Wells Fargo and resulted in heightened regulatory scrutiny and fines. The firm's advisor headcount, at 14,399 in the first quarter, was down 258 year-over-year. Those losses appear to have continued into the second quarter. Last week, RBC said it picked up a Wells Fargo team that managed $600 million in client assets.

Stifel's recruiting sweep also netted Cynthia and Richard Vogel, Savannah, Georgia-based brokers who are wife and husband and oversaw $82 million while with Morgan Stanley. Robert Fenton, previously with Raymond James, joined Stifel in Traverse City, Michigan. He oversaw $42 million in client assets, according to Stifel.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment while a spokeswoman for Raymond James was not available for immediate comment.

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Recruiting Career moves Wirehouse advisors Regional BDs Stifel Financial Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Advisors Raymond James Financial Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley Wealth Management