Brokerage firm Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. has opened its 11th U.S. branch and the first branch office in its hometown of St. Louis, the company announced Friday, when it also moved into a larger home office.
The broker-dealer, which started its operations 13 months ago, is led by former A.G. Edwards President Tad Edwards, 55, who named the firm after his father.
Tad Edwards worked at A.G. Edwards for 30 years and is the great-great-grandson of that company’s founder and the son of Benjamin F. Edwards III, its longtime CEO.
He started work on the Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. brokerage firm in 2008, a year after the firm bearing his family name was acquired by Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Advisors).
“We opened our first branch in August of 2009,” said Edwards in a phone interview. “We like this pace and plan to continue to open more branches.”
The brokerage firm now operates in Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut and New York. It has 39 advisors, 32 branch assistances and 47 staff members at its headquarters in St. Louis.
“We are focusing more on the people and the leaders in the area to build around, and that’s more important to us than the [branch] locations,” Edwards explained.
The new firm is hiring advisors and staff members that ”believe in the client-first approach and the Golden Rule,” he added.
Blake Dunlop has been hired to lead the new St. Louis location as a regional manager. The financial-services veteran also was a professional hockey player with the St. Louis Blues.