Stifel Gains Merrill and Wells Brokers in NV and CA, Loses $2-Mln Duo in TX
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. has hired two industry veterans from Merrill Lynch in the Las Vegas area and California’s Newport Beach, where it also lured two other recruits from Wells Fargo Advisors.
Wells Fargo, meanwhile, hired from Stifel a $2 million-producing duo from near Austin, Texas, according to a company spokeswoman.
In the most recent of the moves, Aaron DelSignore, a 22-year industry veteran who had been with Merrill since 2012, on Friday joined Stifel in Henderson, Nev., according to his BrokerCheck report. As part of the recruitment, Stifel opened a new Private Client Group office for DelSignore in Henderson, which is located 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas, the firm said.
The new office is Stifel’s second in Nevada and marks its entrance into the Las Vegas market, the firm said. It has operated a branch in Reno since 2010.
DelSignore, who did not respond to a request for comment, previously managed about $109 million in client assets at Merrill, according to Stifel. He started his career at American Express Financial Advisors in 1999 before joining UBS that same year, according to his BrokerCheck.
“[C]lient-focused financial advisors are flocking to Stifel for its minimal bureaucracy and for the freedom to serve their clients as they see fit,” according to a prepared statement from DelSignore, who will report to John Lee, director of Stifel’s Western Region.
Stifel’s three hires in Newport Beach had managed a total of $565 million in client assets at their prior firms, according to Stifel.
Michelle Scarcelli, a 23-year industry veteran, joined Stifel on May 3 from Merrill, where she had managed $150 million in client assets, the firm said.
Scarcelli, who did not respond to a request for comment sent through social media, began her career in 1997 with Citigroup Global Markets and had been with Merrill since 2010, according to her BrokerCheck record.
Kevin Rutten and Mike Bas joined Stifel from Wells Fargo Advisors on Thursday of last week. At the wirehouse, Rutten had managed $280 million in client assets, and Bas, $135 million, Stifel said.
Rutten began his career with Wells in 2007 while Bas had started at Citigroup Global Markets in 1994 and joined Wells in 2010 from Morgan Stanley’s Smith Barney, according to their BrokerCheck records. They could not be reached for comment.
The three California recruits are reporting to Tim Metcalf, managing director for Stifel in Orange County.
A spokesperson for Merrill did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the departures.
The Wells spokeswoman declined to comment specifically on the departures but said the firm this month hired from Stifel a two-person team producing $2 million in annual revenue from $255 million in client assets in Bee Cave, Texas, just west of Austin.
Edward Wingrove and Ann Connolly, with 30 years and 18 years in the industry, respectively, had been with Stifel since 2016, according to their BrokerCheck reports. The two advisors, who had joined Wells on July 6, could not be reached for comment.
Stifel in late June recruited from Merrill a $1.9 million-producing duo in Brentwood, Tennessee. Led by producing manager William H. Wade, the team had to fend off Merrill’s centralized group of “client experience specialists” deployed against brokers who jump to competitors in an effort to retain clients. Wade said he had nonetheless moved around 25% of his book of business to Stifel in the two weeks following his departure.
Stifel had 2,182 financial advisors at the end of the first quarter, down a net of 5 from 2,187 at the end of 2020, but still up 2% from 2,130 at the end of March 2020, the firm reported last quarter.
Wells ended March with 13,277 brokers in its Wealth and Investment Management division, down 2%, or a net 236, in the first quarter of 2021 and down 8% from 14,364 in the prior year.