Wells Fargo team bolts to new Benjamin Edwards office
A Wells Fargo team bolted to a new office of Benjamin F. Edwards, part of a group of five advisers who manage $464 million joining the firm, according to the company.
Bruce Evans, William Pickens, John Templeton and Zack Vaughn grew Benjamin Edwards' footprint to 61 offices by opening the Germantown, Tennessee, location this week. Former Ameriprise adviser Thomas Kintz also moved in February to the firm's Boynton Beach, Florida, branch.
The five advisers followed other onetime A.G. Edwards brokers to the company launched after A.G. Edwards' 2008 acquisition by Wachovia and, subsequently, Wells Fargo. The suburban Memphis office marks an overall headcount of 450 employees in 26 states for Benjamin Edwards.
"We've been attracted by the nimbleness of the company," says Evans, 48. He adds that the culture of Benjamin Edwards had been the team's "primary draw."
The firm also scooped up a market manager from Stifel.
The regional brokerage firm picked up recruits from Wedbush Securities and Merrill Lynch.
The firm named Douglas Rubenstein as its new chief operating officer.
The seven recruits made the move from three wirehouses, Raymond James and Stifel.
A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo Advisors declined to comment on their move, while a spokeswoman for Ameriprise didn't respond to a request for comment on Kintz's departure.
Evans and Templeton started what would become Evans, Pickens, Templeton, Vaughn Wealth Management around 1999, when both were with A.G. Edwards in Memphis, Evans says. The full team, which also includes two assistants and sales associate Lee Ramm, formed in 2010.
Pickens moved to Wells Fargo in 2003 after 14 years with Prudential Securities, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Vaughn started at UBS in 2001, joining A.G. Edwards the following year.
Kintz had been with A.G. Edwards from 1995 to 2007 before beginning his tenure at Ameriprise. He came on board at Benjamin Edwards' existing Boynton Beach location Feb. 3.
"We remain focused on attracting top advisers, who share our commitment to client-first service," director of branches Marty Altenberger said in a statement. "We are thrilled to see that advisers continue to be sold on our business model, which allows them to meet their client needs without firm mandates and directives."
The new office is the second in Tennessee for the St. Louis-based regional firm, alongside another outpost in Chattanooga. Another group of former Wells Fargo advisers overseeing $341 million in client assets joined Benjamin Edwards earlier this year.