The Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network has expanded to include two more practices, West and East, with a combined $225 million in assets under management.

The independent brokerage arm of Wells Fargo & Company, now has nearly 550 practices across the country. Kent Christian, president of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, said in a statement that the additions "reinforce the preference shift among large practices toward Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network's 'one-of-a-kind' business model, which offers financial advisors large-scale resources to serve their clients while still having the autonomy to be small business owners."

One of the network's new members is Schofield Group Investment Management, based in St. George, Utah. Financial advisors Richard and Dustin Schofield, who were most recently with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, are a father-and-son team with 35 years of combined experience in the financial services industry. They manage more than $128 million in assets.

"We chose Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network because it allows our team the opportunity to be associated with a company that has the attributes of both an independent and a wirehouse model combined," said vice president Dustin Schofield. "Knowing that we have the support of such a large and recognizable broker-dealer was important for us in transitioning to the independent channel."

The other newcomer is the JayPex Financial Group in Uncasville, Connecticut, which is comprised of financial advisors Jayme Lemaire and Jamie Nowakowski. Between them, they have 18 years of combined experience in the financial services industry; they join Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network from Citizens Bank. JayPex Financial Group has $1.1 million in production and more than $96 million in assets under management.

"Wells Fargo, which opened its doors in 1852, is one of the nation's largest financial institutions," said Lemaire, senior financial advisor at JayPex. "This reflects the strength of the firm and why we think it will be able to help us meet our clients' financial needs. We are pleased to open the doors to our new business in collaboration with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network and we look forward to providing our clients with a broader depth of financial solutions than we have been able to offer in the past."

In 2011, client assets under management at Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network grew 18%, to $52.7 billion. Since its founding in 2001, the network has experienced double digit annual growth in assets under management and in the number of associated practices. Wells Fargo describes this network as an alternative for retail financial advisors who desire independence coupled with the support of a major financial services firm.

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