Baird Nabs Morgan Stanley, UBS Advisors; Securities America Expands Recruiting Group

The new Baird teams come on board with some $800 million in client AUM in Minnesota and Tennessee

Baird said Tuesday that it recently recruited four advisors from Morgan Stanley (MS), UBS (UBS) and other firms with about $800 million in client assets under management. Baird’s new advisor teams join the employee-owned wealth management firm in Nashville, Tenn., and Edina, Minn. Also on Tuesday, Securities America said that it had expanded its branch-office development staff and hired a national director of recruiting.

The Liles Group is now with Baird in Nashville with about $585 million in assets. It is let by the father-and-son team of Malcolm and William Liles, both formerly with Morgan Stanley.

“We are honored that Malcolm [and] William… have chosen to continue their careers at Baird,” said Parker Griffith, senior vice president and branch manager of Baird’s Nashville office, in a statement. “Their financial expertise, dedication to client service and strong relationships throughout the community make them an excellent addition to our firm.”

Malcolm Liles started his career as an advisor in 1981 with the Robinson Humphrey Co. and remained with it through several mergers and acquisitions. Son William joined Morgan Stanley in 2010, after working with Regions Bank and Credit Suisse Securities.

The Brennan Group comes to Baird in Edina, Minn., with roughly $215 million in client assets. It is led by Gerald Brennan, formerly with UBS, and Jim Seidel, an ex-Northern Trust advisor.

Brennan's career in financial services has spanned more than 35 years, including stints with First National Bank of Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray and Hopwood. Siedel has been a financial planner for more than 17 years. His prior experience includes (in addition to Northern Trust), time with Citigroup-Smith Barney, RBC Dain Rauscher, and the Catholic Community Foundation in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Securities America Growth

Securities America, a unit of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services (LTS), says its growing pipeline of financial advisors prompted it to add a national director of recruiting: John Behn.

“We’re seeing increases in advisors at wirehouses and large independent broker-dealers who want more responsive customer service, and advisors at smaller firms who want better technology and help growing their business,” said Gregg Johnson, senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions of Securities America, in a press release.

“We have a full recruiting pipeline of advisors who tell us either they have outgrown the capabilities of their current broker-dealer, or their current broker-dealer has grown to where it no longer values them and their business,” Johnson explained. “Our recruiting and transition teams welcome these advisors in a way that minimizes the disruption to their business and their clients.”

Behn came to Securities America with 22 years of industry—including time as an advisor. He has worked for American Family, New York Life and Transamerica, in addition to owning his own business.

“There is great opportunity available with Securities America,” Behn said, in a statement. “I am honored to work for a positive and genuine Midwest company with an executive leadership team that fully supports the creative efforts and ideas of managers and employees alike.”

In addition, Securities America made several other personnel changes in its Branch Office Development team:

  • Sam Briganti will implement recruiting strategies and communicate Securities America’s philosophy with financial professionals seeking to align themselves with a Business Growth Expert; he came to the firm in 1997 and was promoted to director of transition and Branch Office Development support in 2009.
  • Brian Strasser is the new director of transition and Branch Office Development support; he will lead the transition consultants, conduct strategic planning for transitioning offices and meet with new advisors and their staff. Strasser joins Securities America with nearly 20 years of experience in the securities industry, including 10 years with Legent Clearing.
  • Matthew Witt joins the Branch Office Development team as an associate consultant; he moved to Securities America in 2012.

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