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Amid recruiting surge, Stifel net income rises 25%

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Stifel’s aggressive recruiting efforts are helping boost assets and revenue.

The firm, which added a net 33 advisors in the second quarter, reported net income rose 25% year-over-year to $109 million.

“We’re very pleased with the enthusiasm we’ve seen in people who want to join our platform,” CEO Ronald Kruszewski told analysts during a call Tuesday morning.

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The St. Louis-based firm reported having 2,193 financial advisors, up from 2,118 for the year-ago period and 2,160 for the prior quarter. Stifel’s most recent hires include five planners from Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise. They managed $307 million in total client assets. To accommodate talent arriving from rivals, primarily the wirehouses, Stifel has opened a slew of new locations. Total branches rose to 413 from 398 for the same period a year ago.

Kruszewski chalked up the firm’s current recruiting success to investments the firm has made in its platform and technology as well as its corporate culture, which he acknowledged is an “overused” term in wealth management, but one that matters nonetheless.

“That is a story that has resonated on the Street,” he said.

But the impact of recruits joining in recent weeks may not be felt for some time, the chief executive cautioned.

“In general, our recruits tended to be higher fee based. We don’t disclose percentages, but they tend to be higher fee based. To reach their full level, it takes generally six to nine months,” Kruszewski said.

Total client assets rose 9.9% year-over-year to $305 million. Fee-based assets rose 13.7% to $104 million.

Companywide, Stifel reported net revenues of $800 million, up 3.9% from $742 million for the year-ago period.

“Business is good. And we are optimistic about the back half of the year,” Kruszewski said

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