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Stifel poaches $585M advisors from Merrill Lynch

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Stifel snagged two advisors from Merrill Lynch, adding to its roster of recent hires.

The firm’s recruiting efforts have grown headcount, which stood at 2,222 as of Dec. 31, up 70 advisors from the 2,152 brokers the firm counted a year ago, according to company earnings reports. Stifel has also opened a slew of new locations to house its growing advisor force.

Advisors Kevin Maxim and Jeff Wells joined Stifel’s ranks from Merrill Lynch in February. Combined, the two advisors oversaw $585 million in client assets.

Stifel's newest hire, Kevin Maxim, has 19 years of experience, most of it spent at Merrill Lynch.

Maxim is based at the firm’s office in O’Fallon, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis. Maxim will also serve clients from a nearby office in Frontenac, Missouri, according to the firm. Wells joined the regional broker-dealer in San Rafael, California.

Maxim has 19 years of experience, most of which were spent at Merrill Lynch after getting his start at Edward Jones, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Wells, on the other hand, is an industry veteran with 36 years of experience, spanning across 11 firms including Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney.

“[Wells] had many choices, yet saw the value of our platform and culture and how it can enhance his business,” John Lee, Stifel’s western region director said in a statement. “We are delighted to have him at our firm.”

The new recruits are not the first to trade in Merrill Lynch for a competitor. Stifel scooped up an advisor managing $232 million in client assets in February. A $575 million team also bolted from the wirehouse to join J.P. Morgan Securities in the same month.

A spokeswoman from Merrill Lynch didn’t reply to request for comment on the recent moves.

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