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2 months, $1.2B: Benjamin Edwards’ latest recruiting pull from Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo brokers have been heading for competitors en masse since scandals on the banking side broke a couple years ago — and some of the latest to leave have chosen a regional broker-dealer path with a familiar name: Benjamin F. Edwards.

The family name stems back to A.G. Edwards, the man who founded in 1887 the firm acquired by Wachovia and subsequently by Wells Fargo in 2008.

A.G. Edwards’ great-great grandson, Benjamin F. “Tad” Edwards IV, struck off on his own and started his regional broker-dealer in 2008.

Benjamin F. Edwards

Now the firm has more than 500 employees, with 69 offices. But it continues to recruit aggressively — and many of its hires are coming from the wirehouse.

In its most recent pull from Wells Fargo, Benjamin F. Edwards has snatched 14 brokers, about half of whom once belonged to A.G. Edwards. They managed nearly $1.2 billion, according to their new employer.

The firm declined to break down AUM by individual teams.

Jimmy Scruggs and William “Shane” Sumlin moved to Benjamin F. Edwards in mid-August, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. They operate their practice in Shreveport, Louisiana. Scruggs worked at Wells Fargo for 10 years. Prior to that, he was at A.G. Edwards for 21 years. William Sumlin worked at A.G. Edwards and Wells Fargo for 19 years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

Also joining in mid-August was Richard Lawrence, who had spent four years at Wells Fargo, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. He operates out of Hiawatha, Iowa.

Jimmy Scruggs - Benjamin F. Edwards

In late August, the regional BD grabbed two teams in Chesterton, Indiana.

A team of two includes Cliff Bryan, who was at Wells Fargo for nine years, Morgan Stanley for three, and A.G. Edwards for 10 years prior to his arrival. His partner, Jeff Fernandez, was at Wells Fargo for eight years.

The other Chestron team is comprised of three advisors. Thomas Roberts was at Wells Fargo and A.G. Edwards for 33 years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Partner Kristin Jackson was at Wells Fargo for five years. Prior to that, she spent four years at A.G. Edwards. The third advisor in the team, Ryan Jackson, was at Wells Fargo for two years before the move.

A couple more teams joined Benjamin F. Edward in late September. The first was a trio based in Geneva, Illinois. Jay Cunningham was at Wells Fargo and A.G. Edwards for 27 years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Marcia Gregory was at both firms for 14 years, while the third team member, Bryan Hoppe, was at Wells for two years.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the firm recruited Jay Farquharson, who came from Oppenheimer, where he worked for six years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Prior to that, he was at Wells and A.G. Edwards for 18 years.

The most recent team to join the firm is a duo operating in Champaign, Illinois. Gary Buller worked at Wells Fargo and A.G. Edwards for 25 years, while Matt Buller worked at Wells for four years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

A spokeswoman at Wells Fargo declined to comment on the departures. A spokeswoman at Oppenheimer did not respond to a request for comment.

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