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Recruiting Update: Baird and HighTower Add Advisors

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Two firms with differing business models but with similar growth trajectories announced this week several high-profile additions to their companies.

Baird Private Wealth Management said it recently recruited five financial advisors from Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to its recently opened Raleigh, N.C., and Ft. Worth, Texas offices who collectively oversee more than $450 million in clients assets. That brought the number of new FAs and branch managers hired by Baird, the company said in a statement, to 182 since the beginning of 2009.

Joining Baird in Raleigh, which opened last May and is run by branch manager Bill Sewell, are Andrew Barnett, formerly of Wells Fargo, and Carolyn Leith, formerly of MSSB.

Joining Baird’s Ft. Worth office, which was opened seven months ago, is managed by Jarrett Kovics, also branch manager of the Dallas office, and now counts 14 professionals, were three former Wells Fargo advisors: Clay Ryan and Harold Ryan operating as a team, The Ryan Group, and Wes Oliver.

Adding the FAs is part of Baird’s announced strategy to open offices in new markets including Sioux City, Iowa, Fort Worth, Texas, Charleston, S.C., Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh, N.C., Lynchburg, Va., Denver,  and Portland, Ore. 

Florida Merrill Group Goes RIA

HighTower, the unique RIA firm based in Chicago led by Elliot Weissbluth (left), said this week that Mark Masterson and David Emma have joined the firm as managing directors and partners. The two men had been operating as Masterson, Emma & Associates, a Merrill Lynch team based in Naples, Fla. Masterson was a Barron’s Top 1000 Financial Advisor in 2010 and spent 14 years at Merrill. Before his time at Merrill, Emma was a professional hockey player and a member of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the 1992 Barcelona games, when the U.S. men finished fourth. He won the Hobey Baker award as the nation’s top collegian hockey player while playing center at Boston College in 1991.

This is not the first Bank of America/Merrill Lynch team that has joined HighTower. See Joyce Hanson’s article from last month on a Merrill team from Portland, Me. 


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