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Stifel heads Southwest, hires ex-UBS manager

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Already on an aggressive advisor recruiting push, Stifel hired a former UBS executive to help boost growth in a newly created region.

James Van Steenhuyse was hired as managing director of Stifel's Southwest region and will be based in Phoenix. Van Steenhuyse previously served as a UBS executive director in Phoenix. He had been with the wirehouse for approximately 30 years.

In his new position, he'll oversee expansion efforts in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. Stifel has five offices in those states.

“I am very excited to have Jim Van Steenhuyse join us in the effort to grow Stifel’s reach in a very important region,” John Lee, Stifel's western region director, said in a statement.

Van Steenhuyse, who began his career as an advisor at E.F. Hutton in 1979, joined Stifel in part because of its culture and platform as well as the opportunity to help "expand the company’s presence throughout the Southwest."

A spokeswoman for UBS was unavailable for immediate comment.

Among recent career changes, Merrill Lynch lost brokers managing $2.2 billion to rival J.P. Morgan Securities.
February 20

Shawn L. Bernhard, branch manager, now oversees UBS’ office in Phoenix. She was appointed earlier this year and has held a variety of roles at the wirehouse since 2008. She has past experience at Wachovia and Merrill Lynch.

The executive moves occur in the wake of UBS's departure from the Broker Protocol in December, following Morgan Stanley's lead. The industrywide pact permits advisors to take basic client contact information with them when switching firms. Some industry insiders interpreted the departures as an attempt to hinder advisors from making career moves.

Several regional and independent firms, including Stifel, have recently made a concerted effort to attract wirehouse advisors.

The St. Louis-based brokerage firm's recent hires include Steve Thomsen, a former Merrill Lynch advisor who oversaw more than $83 million in client assets, according to Stifel. He's based in Washington D.C. Daniel Newell, another recent hire, came from RBC and is based in Hunt Valley, Maryland. He previously managed $74 million in assets.

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