Baird announced Tuesday it hired eight advisors and two branch managers from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to support new offices in Charleston, S.C., and Fort Worth, Texas area.

According to filings from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the most recent hire is Charles Knowlton, who spent eight years at Smith Barney and is now a senior vice president, branch manager and financial advisor at the firm’s new Charleston office.

Baird said in a statement that Knowlton will overseeing his own clients, and has a total of 37 years of financial service experience.

The veteran advisor managed to lure his team from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to Baird.

While Nicholas Verano spent five years at MSSB, Mildred Kitchell, spent eight years. The team, also known as the Kitchell Verano Group together with Kowlton previously managed a combined $360 million in client assets, a Baird spokesperson confirmed.

At the Fort Worth office, the six-person Morgan Stanley team includes: Paul Davis, Roger Metz and Craig O. Nicholson who will all serve as directors. Additionally, William Knight, Peter Philpott and Paul Robinson will carry out their duties under the title of president.  

Together the team has an average of 20 years of industry experience and manages more than $920 million in client assets. 

“By opening a second office in the region with these talented financial professionals, Baird is demonstrating our commitment to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and our continued success attracting top advisors,” said Matt Curley, regional director for Baird’s private wealth management group. “We are very excited about our continued expansion in Texas and we remain committed to providing the best financial advice and service to high-net-worth individuals, families and corporations in the region.”

Last month, it was reported that Baird is continuing its expansion in northern California. The brokerage unit currently operates six offices in the region, two equity and fixed income capital markets offices in San Francisco, an investment banking office in Palo Alto, and three wealth management offices in the greater Sacramento area, the company said. 

Since 2007, Baird has added a number of senior level associates in the Bay Area including a new co-head of equity capital markets, equity research associates, and equity traders.

The growth opportunities Baird is experiencing comes from the flood of advisors, who, prior to the economic crisis, would never have thought about leaving the wirehouses where they worked, but as a result of the meltdown they are looking for a new start.

Baird’s private wealth management business continues to expand its national footprint. It added more than 100 financial advisors to its private wealth management group in 2009. Since the beginning of last year, Baird has opened or announced plans to open wealth management offices in several new markets. New office locations include Winston-Salem, Denver, Sacramento, Calif., Lynchburg, Baltimore and Easton, Md. It announced plans to open offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, N.C., Portland, Ore., and St. Paul, Minn.

Baird Financial Advisors managed and oversaw more than $58 billion in client assets as of March 31.

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