Stifel Snags $327 Million-Asset Wells Texas Team, Merrill Manager in Colorado
Stifel Nicolaus has attracted a team of advisors from Wells Fargo in Texas and a Merrill Lynch manager who had spent her 26-year career at the thundering herd in Colorado.
The Texas hires include Jerry Raders, Teresa Hunter, and Jonathan Montgomery, who were overseeing $327 million in client assets at Wells Fargo Advisors, according to a release from Stifel. They joined rival Stifel with a client associate on Wednesday, the company said, and had around $1.6 million in production, according to a person familiar with their practice.
Like Raders, Hunter, a 15-year broker, and Montgomery, who has 12 years of experience, had all spent their entire brokerage careers with Wells and its regional A.G. Edwards & Sons predecessor, according to their BrokerCheck histories.
Reached by phone at his new office, Raders declined to comment on the move.
Stifel, which leans heavily on recruiting to drive revenue in its wealth business, has been reviving hiring virtually after a pandemic-related pause in March and ongoing suspension of home office visits. It attracted 28 brokers in the second quarter with trailing 12-month production of $23 million. That was still far short of the 46 who joined in the second quarter of 2019.
The St. Louis-based broker-dealer also on Wednesday hired a career Merrill Lynch manager Natalie Mahler to be a business development manager for Colorado, a newly created role in which she will lead Stifel’s advisor recruiting in the centennial state. She will also be managing Stifel’s six-advisor Cherry Creek office, the release said.
Mahler, who started at Merrill Lynch in 1994 as a business financial services specialist and also worked as an advisor before moving into management in 2004, had for the past two years been market development manager overseeing Merrill’s “community markets” efforts to expand in areas far from Bank of America branches.
She said she was enticed to move by the additional responsibility for her own branch and also to have more flexibility because Stifel’s approach was less “top-down” than Merrill.
“There is more of a top-down approach and less of the entrepreneurial spirit,” she said of the Merrill culture today but declined to elaborate further.
A spokesperson for Merrill did not return a request for comment on the moves or Mahler’s comment.
As manager of the Cherry Creek office, Mahler replaces Scott W. Coffee, who is returning to production full time, according to the branch’s former website and a person familiar with the move. Coffee did not immediately return a call for comment.
Mahler declined to discuss specific goals for AUM growth and hiring for Stifel in Colorado, where Stifel has seven branches.
At Merrill, she had responsibility for growing markets in Aspen, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Grand Junction. Merrill’s community markets strategy, which launched in 2018, is one of the two areas in addition to hiring novice brokers where Merrill Lynch has continued to recruit since it froze hiring in 2017.
As an advisor, Mahler had grown her book of business to around $100 million between 2000 and 2004, according to her LinkedIn profile. She moved into management in late 2004 as a “regional markets group” specialist, according to the social networking site.