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Wells Fargo Hires Merrill Manager; Baird Adds from Smith Barney

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The movement to draw top talent away from New York-based wirehouse firms continued during the week ending May 7.

Wells Fargo Advisors hired Thomas R. Isaacs from Merrill Lynch to serve as the market manager for its New York City branches on May 5, while on May 6 Baird picked up William H. Sewell from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to open a new wealth management office for the growing broker-dealer in Raleigh, N.C.

Issacs joined Wells Fargo Advisors as a managing director and market manager for the firm’s New York City market. He will lead Wells’ seven private client group branches in Manhattan, which include 246 financial advisors and about $21 billion in client assets, according to a press release.

Isaacs is originally from the New York area, and he spent 25 years at Merrill Lynch, most recently as manager of that firm’s Jacksonville, Fla., branch.

“As a former financial advisor himself, Tom has used his insight and experience to support financial advisors in building their practices, in the process attracting many experienced advisors from other firms to join him,” said Michael J. Carroll, regional president of the northeast region of Wells Fargo Advisors, in a release.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo says that, as of March 31, it had some $1.1 trillion in client assets, more than 15,100 full-service financial advisors and 6,300 licensed financial specialists.

Baird, which is based in Milwaukee, said it hired Sewell this week as a senior vice president and head of its new wealth management office in Raleigh, N.C.

The firm opened its first North Carolina wealth management office in Winston-Salem in October and announced plans to establish a wealth management office in Charlotte in December.

Sewell held branch management roles at Smith Barney and its predecessor firms E.F. Hutton and Shearson Lehman Brothers for the past 26 years.

Sewell was based in Jackson, Miss., before relocating to Raleigh in 1993 and most recently managed three Morgan Stanley Smith Barney offices with 46 financial advisors and $3.7 billion dollars in client assets.

“Bill is a tremendous addition to our Private Wealth Management business and to Baird,” said John Mabee, regional director for Baird’s private wealth management group, in a statement. “With his deep industry knowledge and appreciation for Baird’s unique culture, he is well suited to help us build on our presence in North Carolina and the Southeast.”

Baird added more than 100 financial advisors in 2009 and has added 24 FAs and branch managers since the beginning of 2010.

The broker-dealer now includes more than 650 financial advisors overseeing some $58 billion in client assets.


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