Stifel has been on a red-hot recruiting streak over the last several months, pulling in financial advisors from a variety of rivals, as planners are drawn to the regional firm’s technological offerings and culture.
Advisor Michael Silverman joined the Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, office of Stifel from Oppenheimer, where he managed $100 million in client assets, said John Pierce, Stifel’s head of advisor recruitment.
“We’re going from a Civic to a Cadillac,” Silverman said of the move. “I did not make this decision lightly, I’ve been at one firm for 28 years, this is all about the client.” Silverman, who describes his clients as risk-averse and high-net-worth, specializes in mortgage-backed securities. He expects to be able to offer more products, greater servicing and better technology at Stifel.
For instance, Silverman said that everything at Stifel is electronic, whereas at Oppenheimer he had to manually write his tickets. Another draw for him was Stifel’s supportive environment.
“The office is very much a camaraderie environment,” Silverman says. Where he came from, he felt very much on his own.
Oppenheimer declined to comment.
“Our business is difficult enough,” Pierce notes. “There is no reason to be unhappy in the job. Recruits joining us are looking for solutions to better serve their clients and find a fun work environment — it is difficult to put a price on happiness.”
“2018 is off to a fast start now that the uncertainty of the DoL [rule] is behind us,” Pierce says. “Each of our 360-plus branch managers own recruiting in their local market — we don't delegate away this important role because boots on the ground know who is and is not a cultural fit. Some of our best recruiting is saying no to people who just don't fit.”
The firm isn’t concerned about recruiting numbers, Pierce says. Rather, the C-suite is focused on the quality of talent coming in, he says. “We want to continue to add advisors that are great cultural fits that want to grow.”
Silverman brings with him almost 30 years of experience, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He spent a year with Merrill Lynch and then a year with W.H. Newbold’s Son, before joining Oppenheimer.