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Stifel hires another $500M-plus Merrill team to staff new branch

To fuel its expansion in Texas, Stifel is turning to top wirehouse teams.

The regional broker-dealer hired a duo overseeing $590 million in client assets from Merrill Lynch, marking its second grab from the same wirehouse in recent weeks.

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The new firm’s location in Frisco, a suburb of Dallas, is the third to open this year and its 14th overall in the Lone Star State. Last January, Stifel opened a new office in Fort Worth, grabbing a Merrill team with $1 billion AUM. And last week, the company opened another branch in Sugar Land.

The regional BD’s growth in Texas mirrors the state’s. The population grew 14.1% from 25 million in 2010 to 28.7 million in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But what makes regional BDs an attractive destination for wirehouse advisors? One answer: Some wirehouse advisors find regional BDs to have less bureaucracy than their larger bank-owned competitors, according to recruiter Mark Elzweig. And they find that they have more freedom to run their practices as they see fit. “It’s an opportunity to always do what they’ve been doing but in a user-friendly place," Elzweig says.

Stifel’s new hires will work in a Dallas branch until their new office is opened.

The recruits include Kevin Karrh a 19-year veteran of Merrill Lynch, and Zachary Hope, who has worked in the industry for five years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck Records.

Merrill Lynch did not respond for comment.

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