Stifel has snapped up a veteran complex manager from Wells Fargo in a push to build out its presence in the Northeast, the firm says.

Tom Thives joined the firm’s broker-dealer subsidiary, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., as the New Jersey complex manager based in Florham Park. A 34-year industry veteran, Thives will head up the firm’s offices in Princeton and Ramsey, New Jersey, and come on board as a co-manager of the Florham Park office.

A veteran of five previous firms, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck records, Thives was awarded the Top Branch Manager honor from On Wall Street twice in 2016 and 2014. While at Wells, he grew the firm’s Florham Park ranks from 29 advisors to 65, Stifel says.

“Stifel will continue to thrive in the years ahead as more advisors look to return to their traditional brokerage roots,” Thives says, attributing Stifel’s success to the firm working “thoughtfully” and “efficiently.”


The firm created the New Jersey complex specifically for Thives as the firm builds out its presence in the Northeast, says Allen Brautigam, Stifel’s director of branch offices.

“Tom’s sterling reputation for putting his advisors first makes him the perfect fit for our entrepreneurial culture,” Brautigam said in a press release.

The St. Louis-based firm is bringing in advisors with larger average AUMs than in the past, according to John Pierce, Stifel’s head of recruiting. Like Thives, many of Stifel's new hires have come from the wirehouses because improved platforms have propped up advisor interest in smaller firms, Pierce says.

“They've clearly invested in the capabilities to handle the larger advisors who have typically been at the wirehouses,” Pierce said after a $342 million team from Oppenheimer & Co. joined the firm in August.

Stifel Financial ended 2017 with 2,244 advisors, down slightly from 2,280 advisors in 2016, according to the firm’s latest earnings report. The firm has $71 billion in client AUM, according to its latest Form ADV.

Thives began his career with Dean Witter in 1983 before jumping to Cowen & Co. in 1985 and Prudential Securities in 1994, per FINRA BrokerCheck records. He landed at Wells in 2003, according to BrokerCheck.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment on the career move.

Sean Allocca

Sean Allocca is an associate editor of Financial Planning, On Wall Street and Bank Investment Consultant.