August 14, 2012

Berthel Fisher Adds 26 Reps From Defunct Milkie Ferguson

The broker-dealer now has more than 350 advisors; a sister BD has 300

Marian, Iowa-based Berthel Fisher Services said Monday that it's nearly completed the transition of 26 ex-Milkie Ferguson Investments financial advisors and about $450 million in assets under management. (This represents about $26 million in average AUM per advisor.)

Thomas Berthel“This adds to our base and is a nice expansion in the Dallas area and in Texas,” said Thomas Berthel (left), CEO and director of Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services, in an interview with AdvisorOne on Tuesday. “Strategically, we like this concentration.”

Berthel Fisher says it did not acquire any assets or liabilities of the Milkie Ferguson firm, which closed recently due to expenses tied to the sale of shares in Provident Royalties.

Berthel Fisher has independent broker-dealer operations in 50 states through 385 representative offices. A unit of the company, Securities Management & Research, operates as a separate broker-dealer with 300 reps. Acquired about 18 months ago, it has traditionally focused on the insurance side of the business, though it also includes an RIA. 

The parent company expects to make more purchases and expand by recruiting over the next few years, as it is “poised for future growth,” said Berthel.

Its plans have a lot to do with industry consolidation, he notes. “Broker-dealers are looking at what to do as they have to increase efficiency and lower costs. These are interesting times for the business.”

Berthel Fisher said it received regulatory approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a transfer of the Milkie Ferguson accounts on May 18. The client account transfers took place in June, and the relicensing to Berthel Fisher is almost finished.

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