Recruiting in '17 is on a tear.

Ahead of the Department of Labor’s official start date, June 9, many broker-dealers have been busy adding advisors and watching some deapart.

A team of 15 advisors with about $437 million in assets under management has left Wells Fargo Advisor Financial Network, the firm’s independent channel, to join Ameriprise Financial in Lafayette, Indiana.

Bison Financial Group is led by CEO Dave Vorbeck, CFP, and President and COO Steve Dunnuck, CFP.

“We set out to find something different than we had experienced at our last firm. After extensive due-diligence, we found Ameriprise to be a firm built around helping advisors provide a compelling client experience – and, in turn, grow their practices,” said Vorbeck in a statement.

“I think one of the things that impressed the team most about Ameriprise is the dedicated leadership and support they’ll receive within our independent channel,” explained Patricia Moll, senior franchise field vice president, in a press release. “We’re in this together with them – helping attract, serve and retain target-market clients.”

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo FiNet said it added two advisors from rivals: John Miller of Knoxville, Tennessee, left UBS to join advisor Brad Riley at Riley Private Wealth Management. Miller is set to move with over $119,000,000 in client assets and 25 years of industry experience.

In addition, Robert Stansberry of Columbia, Missouri, has left Stifel to start his own practice with FiNet. Stansberry works with over $125 million in client assets and has been in the business for 36 years.

Raymond James’ New

St. Petersburg, Florida-based Raymond James says it has added two bank programs to its Financial Institutions Division: Athens Federal Investment and Retirement Services, the retail investment program at Athens Federal Community Bank in Tennessee which has two advisors and roughly $141 million in client assets.; and Androscoggin Financial Services, the investment program for Androscoggin Bank in Maine, which includes two registered representatives and $60 million of assets.

Both programs were previously affiliated with INVEST Financial and Pershing before they aligned with Raymond James this year.

“We have had an outstanding start to the year as we continue to welcome great programs to our growing Financial Institutions Division,” said Tim Killgoar, senior vice president and head of Raymond James FID, in a statement. “We’re pleased that both Athens Federal Community Bank and Androscoggin Bank discovered how beneficial Raymond James’ depth of resources and support can be as they grow their programs and expand their client bases.”

Raymond James also recently welcomed Sandy Martin, CFP, CRPC, and Kirsty Walker, CFP, CRPC, to its employee channel in Orlando.

Martin and Walker join Raymond James from Merrill Lynch where they collectively managed over $110 million in client assets and had over $1 million in annual fees and commissions.

“We discovered that Raymond James really does put the interests of its clients first,” said Martin, in a statement. “It’s not just a slogan here. We also wanted to be at a firm where we could offer our clients multiple solutions to meet their needs and have more flexibility in who we worked with and how we served them.”

Other Hires

Merrill Lynch says it has recruited Fernando Nicolau to its wealth management office in Miami as an international financial advisor. Fernando joins from JP Morgan Private Bank, where he was responsible for more than $1 billion in client assets.

“We are pleased to welcome Fernando to our Miami International office,” said Andres de Corral, market executive, in a statement. “His years of experience working in the Latin American market make him the right fit for our Brazil client egment.”

Fernando has more than 17 years of wealth management experience. He started his career at Citibank where he spent 13 years working in Brazil, New York and Miami. In 2012, he joined JP Morgan Private Bank in Miami.

S2K Financial, a wholesale broker-dealer focused has added several executives to its sales team: Brendan McLaughlin, regional vice president, South Central region based in Texas; Kurt Gunderson, vice president, North Central region, based in Minnesota; Felix Vera, regional sales associate, based in New York; and Michael Roman, national accounts wholesaler. 

“The addition of these industry veterans to the S2K Financial team reinforces our commitment to wholesaling across product lines, as we create a fully supportive experience for IBDs, RIAs and their financial advisors,” said S2K Financial CEO Steven L. Kantor.