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Stifel shakes up leadership, appoints new execs

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Stifel shuffled its executive leadership Tuesday, a move that comes after rapid growth at the company through acquisitions and aggressive recruiting efforts.

The firm promoted two insiders; David Sliney will now serve as chief operating officer and Jim Marischen will take over as chief financial officer. Sliney and Marischen have been with the company since 1992 and 2008, respectively, according to a company press release.

“As we look toward our future, we need to continue developing our organizational structure in order to ensure continued success,” Kruszewski said in a statement. “With these appointments, we’ve better aligned our talented management team with our businesses, enabling Stifel to continue on a strong growth trajectory.”

James Zemlyak, who has served as CFO since 1999, will now focus solely on wealth management, a business he has overseen since 2011. Zemlyak also remains co-president of Stifel Financial alongside Victor Nesi, who leads the company's institutional group.

Kruszewski said wealth management was Stifel's largest and most profitable business unit.

“Given Jim’s successful track record and the importance of our wealth management franchise to the future growth of the firm, I’m highly optimistic about what we can accomplish with Jim’s focus exclusively on wealth management," Kruszewski said.

Even as these changes come, the firm has one constant: Kruszewski's leadership. He's been CEO since 1997, according to the company.

Under his stewardship, Stifel has made a number of acquisitions, growing its wealth management and other businesses.

Among the company's acquisitions was the U.S. wealth management unit of British bank Barclays, which added more than a 100 advisors catering to high-net-worth clients. Stifel has also upped its recruiting efforts in recent years.

Pretax profits from Stifel's wealth management division were up 22% year-over-year for the second quarter, reaching $187 million compared with $153 million a year ago.

But while profits were up, head count was not. The St. Louis-based firm reported that it had 2,267 financial advisors as of June 30, down by 10 from the previous quarter due in part to retirements, the company said.

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