Three advisors with $350 million in assets left Wells Fargo for Raymond James.

A team of three advisors left Wells Fargo Advisors to join the recently acquired Alex. Brown division of Raymond James Financial, while one moved to its employee channel with about $350 million in client assets and $2 million in yearly fees and commissions.

Tara Orendorff, William “Bill” Weldon and George D. “Bo” Bragaw formed the new advisory group WBO Partners of Alex. Brown and set up offices on in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, where Alex. Brown first went into business in 1800; it is now based in New York.

“We’re thrilled to have such a high-quality group of professionals join Alex. Brown,” said Marcus Aiello, Alex. Brown regional executive director in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, in a statement. “The team’s values and approach to client service are a great fit with our corporate culture, and we look forward to their contributions as they help us make the brand even more successful in the future.”

Bragaw and Weldon previously held branch management roles with Wells Fargo and its predecessor firms. Bragaw managed the Washington, D.C., branch and was a Baltimore complex manager, while Weldon served as a Bethesda branch manager for Wheat First, which became Wachovia Securities.

“To us, it feels like going home,” explained Bragaw, in a statement. “All of our partners began their financial services careers working with highly respected boutique firms. The emphasis on tailored investment solutions has been largely diluted through mergers in our industry. Here, advising the client on wealth management remains the sole focus, as it has for 200 years.”

Orendorff began her career 18 years ago at Alex. Brown; she maintains the title of vice president and client advisor. She held roles of complex administrative manager, branch operations manager and client associate while at Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia Securities).

“This is an organization that has a tight-knit regional firm feel, while offering the capabilities of much larger firms,” said Weldon, in a statement. “We were very impressed with the engagement of senior management as we looked for a firm with a long history through difficult markets. In the final analysis, we asked ourselves which organization is the best fit for our clients, and we believe we found the answer in the combination of Alex. Brown and Raymond James.”

Alex. Brown has 193 advisors with roughly $40 billion in client assets. On average, these advisors have about $1.5 million in yearly fees and commissions

Other Hire

Meanwhile, financial advisor Jarrod Biebel has opened the Denver-Cherry Creek office of Raymond James & Associates (RJA). His business will operate as First Avenue Wealth Partners.

“We are delighted to welcome Jarrod and Angelica to our new Cherry Creek office,” said complex manager Dennis Kaboth. Kaboth, in a statement. “Their conservative values align closely with those of Raymond James, making them a great duo to represent us in the Denver market.

“I have known Jarrod for over 25 years, and he’s had an outstanding career with a proven record of putting his clients first, so we’re pleased to provide him with Raymond James’ resources and support to help his practice move to a much higher level,” added Kaboth.

Biebel cut his teeth in the business starting in 1991 as a municipal bond wholesaler with John Nuveen & Co. in Chicago. In 1992, he joined Everen Securities as a financial advisor until the firm was acquired by First Union in 1999. He soon moved to Prudential Securities and later to Wells Fargo in 2002.

“We are genuinely ecstatic to join the Raymond James culture and be in an environment that affords us the opportunity to provide our clients with a great client experience,” said Biebel in a statement. “Put simply, we feel that we now have the ability to take our practice to a higher level, provide clients with a wide range of solutions, and be completely focused on client-centric priorities.”

Other News

Macquarie Group’s Delaware Investments says John Leonard will become its head of equities on March 3, when he is set to provide strategic oversight of the firm’s nine U.S.-based equity investment teams.

Based in Philadelphia, Leonard will report to Shawn Lytle, president of Delaware Investments, and will serve as a member of the firm’s senior leadership team, the company says. Also, he will become part of the global management committee led by Ben Bruck, global head of Macquarie Investment Management and chairman of Delaware Investments.

“Our multi-boutique structure allows us to offer diverse equity styles that are best suited for clients’ varying investment needs,” said Lytle, in a statement. “John has a track record of investment excellence as both a portfolio manager and as a global leader that puts him in an elite class of investors. His extensive experience leading equity teams with different investment styles is a strong fit for our culture and focus on high-conviction strategies.”

Leonard will join Delaware Investments from UBS Asset Management, where he worked for nearly 18 years. He began his career at Brinson Partners, a predecessor of UBS.

Delaware Investments has about $174 billion of assets under management.

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