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$370M Team Leaves Merrill For Stifel

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A team that managed $370 million in client assets at Merrill Lynch has left the wirehouse to join Stifel, a spokeswoman for the firm said.

Sonny Skinner, Mark Causey, Everett Nix, Steve Hagood and Will Humber left Merrill to open a new office for Stifel's private client group in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Skinner also serves as a branch manager.

Stifel did not provide how much the team produced before the move. A Merrill spokesman confirmed the moves.

The team, operating as NSCHH Wealth Management Group, is supported by Cathy Carr, a registered client service associate. The group will be working from a temporary office in Tuscaloosa before moving into a new building, Stifel said.

Skinner said the team was looking for a firm that was entrepreneurial in nature, and was drawn to Stifel. The fast-growing firm recently has been expanding through mergers with other wealth management firms. A deal to buy the advisory unit at Barclays is expected to close in November, following an earlier merger with Sterne Agee, which is also based in Alabama.

"The Tuscaloosa office represents our eighth in the state as we continue to expand our presence in the region this year after our merger with Sterne Agee. We look forward to Sonny’s leadership in building Stifel's presence in the Tuscaloosa marketplace," Stifel President James Zemlyak said.

Skinner's career in financial services dates back to 1991, and includes eight years at UBS before he joined Merrill in 2008, according to FINRA Brokercheck records. Nix, the senior advisor of the group, has a similar work history and did a previous stint at Merrill from 1981 to 1983.

Causey was with UBS for seven years before joining Merrill in 2008. Hagood worked three years for UBS before he also moved to Merrill in the same year. Humber, the junior member of the group, started his career at Merrill in 2010, according to BrokerCheck.

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