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Baird Grabs MSSB Branch Manager in Maine

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Baird said Thursday that it hired former-Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS) branch manager Mark T. Stevanovic to open a wealth-management office in Portland, Maine. This will be Baird’s first branch first in the state.

Stevanovic (left), a non-producing manager, previously oversaw about 50 financial advisors who managed more than $4 billion dollars in client assets at offices in Portland and Bangor. He began his financial services career as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch.

Milwaukee-based Baird says it has recruited close to 250 advisors over the past two years or so, and its veteran reps have been boosting average fees and commissions by about 12.5% in 2010 and 2011, putting its year-over-year performance ahead of some larger rivals.

“Mark is a tremendous addition to our private wealth-management business and to Baird,” said John Mabee, vice chairman of 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 establish a presence in Maine. We couldn’t be more pleased that he has chosen to continue his career at Baird.”

The employee-owned broker-dealer now includes about 700 financial advisors, says Matthew Curley, national sales director and COO of Baird’s private-wealth management operations.

Baird added nine financial advisors in the first seven weeks of 2012, after bringing on 65 reps and three branch managers in 2011. “The hires in 2011 were just shy of about $600,000 in average production,” noted Curley, a former-Smith Barney advisor. “We’ve been doing a great job at recruiting.”

“Baird has it all, from a clients-first culture and entrepreneurial business environment to a wealth of products and services comparable to any wirehouse,” Stevanovic said, in a press release. “Associates, many of whom are owners with a stake in the business, are highly valued and trusted to make good business decisions, and I’m now proud to be one of them.”


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