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Benjamin Edwards hires advisers with $384M in combined AUM, promotes exec

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Benjamin F. Edwards recruited four advisers who collectively oversaw $384 million in assets under management, according to the firm

The brokerage also promoted Douglas Rubenstein to become its new chief operating officer. Rubenstein has been serving as director of capital markets and business strategy at Benjamin Edwards since 2012, according to a statement from the company. Rubenstein will continue to hold those responsibilities in addition to his new ones.

The St. Louis-based firm's newest advisers joined Benjamin Edwards in three locations.

Malcolm Peeler and Brian Erwin left Stephens, a Little Rock, Ark.-based firm, to open a new Benjamin Edwards' office in Jonesboro, Ark.

Adviser Kevin Skogsberg joined Benjamin Edwards in Peru, Ill., which is about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

Also joining the firm in Illinois is adviser Curtis Loveday, who left Morgan Stanley.

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Like many other executives and advisers at St. Louis-based Benjamin Edwards, Rubenstein has past experience at A.G. Edwards, where he spent 25 years with the brokerage firm (it was later acquired by Wells Fargo).

A.G. Edwards, founded in 1887, was an iconic firm, but was acquired in 2008 by Wachovia, which was in turn acquired by Wells Fargo.

Benjamin F. "Tad" Edwards IV, whose father led the firm for decades, left A.G. Edwards following its acquisition to found his own eponymously-named firm. In promoting Rubenstein, Edwards, who also serves as CEO, cited his experience as well as their working relationship over the past four years as reasons for his promotion, calling him a "trusted partner and collaborator."

"I will rely on him as COO even more to help me propel our firm forward, while also maintaining our special brand and culture of client-first service," the chief executive said in a statement.


A Stephens spokeswoman declined to comment on the loss of Peeler and Erwin.

Peeler started his career at A. G. Edwards in 1982, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He stayed with the firm until its acquisition by Wachovia in 2008, leaving to join Stephens.

Erwin began his advisory career at Ameriprise in 1998. He moved to Stephens in 2012. Benjamin Edwards also said the firm hired Cindy Lewis, who will serve as senior registered financial associate to the two advisers.

Like Peeler, Skogsberg started his career at A.G. Edwards in 1979. He stayed with the firm until its acquisition, leaving to join Stifel in 2009, according to BrokerCheck records.

A Stifel spokesman declined to comment on his departure.

Loveday had been with Morgan Stanley since 1992, according to BrokerCheck records. Loveday, who made the career change in July, is based in Benjamin Edwards' office in Naperville , a suburb of Chicago.

A spokeswoman for the wirehouse was not immediately available for comment.

Benjamin Edwards currently has 56 branch offices and more than 450 employees, according to the company.

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