Stifel hired advisers from three firms who managed more than $110 million in combined client assets, a spokesman said.

As wirehouses such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have pulled back on recruiting, regional firms are using it as an opportunity to appeal to smaller advisers, says recruiter Louis Diamond.

“Regional firms have stayed unscathed by the major headlines that have plagued the major firms and they have cultures and stories that appeal to advisers rather than the regulatory environment and bureaucracy that surrounds the larger firms,” Diamond says.

Recruiter Bill Willis says the real effects of the wirehouses' recruiting retrenchment may not yet be quite visible. "There is a lag time between when advisers apply and are hired," he says.

Stifel, meanwhile, has been engaged in a more aggressive recruiting push. Earlier this week, the regional firm announced it hired a complex manager from Wells Fargo to be a regional director in St. Louis and help with its expansion efforts.

Stifel’s most recent recruits include: Patricia Jeannie Tippins from Wells Fargo, Christopher Barbee from Oppenheimer & Co., and Andrew Campanella from Merrill Lynch.

Slideshow
Advisers on the Move: Brokers with $6B in AUM join Merrill Lynch
Though the wirehouse notched impressive wins, Merrill wasn't the only firm to land elite recruits recently.

At Wells Fargo, Tippins managed more than $56 million in client assets, according to a Stifel spokesman.

Tippins, who operates in Dallas, had worked at Wells Fargo and its predecessor firms since joining the industry in 1992, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Barbee managed $61 million in client assets at Oppenheimer, according to Stifel.

The Greensboro, North Carolina-based adviser started his career at A.G. Edwards in 1999, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He stayed with the firm through it's merger with Wells Fargo, but left for Oppenheimer in 2014.

Campanella has 27 years of industry experience working at various firms including RBC, BlackRock and, most recently, Merrill Lynch, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He is based in Manchester, Vermont.

Oppenheimer and Wells Fargo declined to comment their departures. Merrill Lynch could not be immediately reached for comment.

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