Baird Hires Long-Time Wells Fargo Recruiting Executive
Elmer “Chip” Walker, whose 28-year career with Wells Fargo Advisors ended amid a corporate restructuring earlier this year, has joined Robert W. Baird as a regional recruiter.
“We look forward to watching him thrive alongside John Mabee, vice chairman of PWM, and Dan Sullivan, [St. Louis] branch manager, in attracting and developing successful, experienced advisors through recruitment efforts,” Erik Dahlberg, executive director of Baird’s brokerage business said in a prepared statement.
Baird employs more than 1,300 financial advisors in 33 states, the company said. Its branch location website lists two Missouri branches, one in St. Louis and another in Kansas City.
Baird in June hired a top-ranked Wells advisor in Roseville, Calif who Wells dismissed after almost 23 years over allegations that he layered bank account withdrawals to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements. (The advisor denied the allegations.)
Wells has 12,908 brokers across its employee, independent and bank-based channels. Its broker count has declined steadily since the bank company disclosed fake account scandals four years ago. It lost a net 815 brokers in the 12 months ending September 30, 2020.
Walker began his brokerage career in 1992 as an advisor at Wheat First Butcher Singer, one of many regional firms that Wells Advisors and its parent bank purchased. His career encompassed roles as a regional sales manager, director of managed accounts and director of best practices and FA integration at various Wells affiliates. In 2015, when he was its senior recruiting and branch manager productivity executive, he was a member of Wells Fargo Advisors’ operating committee.
Wells executives told AdvisorHub in September that Walker’s most recent position as field strategy head was eliminated as part of its parent company’s broad cost-cutting campaign.
“Included in that effort is reducing the levels of management across Wells Fargo and increasing the number of people reporting to each manager,” said Heather Hunt-Ruddy, head of client experience and growth at Wells Fargo Advisors.
Walker did not respond to a request for comment on his new position.