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Stifel picks up $670M advisors from Morgan, Merrill in latest hires

Four Morgan Stanley and two Merrill Lynch advisors quit the wirehouses to join Stifel, a growing regional broker-dealer that opened a new branch office for three of the recruits.

The new hires, who managed more than $670 million in combined client assets, are another sign of how aggressively Stifel is pursing its recruiting strategy.

Staffing a new Stifel office in Barrington, Illinois, are former Morgan Stanley advisors Daniel Raupp, Gary Phelps and Alfredo Serrano. The new location in Barrington, a suburb of Chicago, represents Stifel’s 16th office in the state.

Raupp, an advisor of 30 years experience, had been with Morgan Stanley for a decade, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He was previously responsible for $166 million in assets, according to Stifel.

Phelps and Serrano were responsible for $144 million in assets, Stifel says. They had worked at Morgan Stanley since 2009, per BrokerCheck. Phelps and Serrano have 21 and 17 years of industry experience, respectively.

Former Morgan Stanley advisor Zachary Harveth joined Stifel in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest. While at his previous employer, Harveth oversaw $47 million in client assets, according to Stifel. Harveth started his career at Morgan Stanley in 2014.

Stifel also hired a father-son team that managed $323 million at Merrill Lynch. Christopher M. Moran and Christopher E. Moran joined the regional BD in Boston.

Gary Phelps is one of three recent hires to staff a newly opened Stifel branch office in Barrington, a suburb of Chicago. The regional BD has been on recruiting streak.
Gary Phelps is one of three recent hires to staff a newly opened Stifel branch office in Barrington, a suburb of Chicago. The regional BD has been on recruiting streak.

The elder Moran’s 37-year career has stretched over four firms, including Advest and Smith Barney, in addition to Merrill Lynch. His son started his career at Merrill four years ago.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed the departures, but declined to comment further. A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman also declined to comment.

The new additions come after Stifel said earlier this month that it hired a group of advisors from Wells Fargo. Those brokers managed a combined $619 million, according to the regional BD. The firm’s recruiting efforts boosted headcount to 2,193 advisors for the third quarter from 2,149 for the same period a year ago, according to the firm’s earnings report.

Kevin Ortmeyer, managing director for Stifel’s central region, said in a statement that his firm’s capabilities and lighter bureaucracy “is resonating with top financial advisors.”

The average new recruit is bringing over 93% of their book, according to John Pierce, head of recruiting at the regional BD. “Stifel has become quite proficient porting over assets from non-protocol firms,” he said.

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