Wedbush Securities' recent hire of Tina Huyler to its Denver, Colo., office is just one of the first moves in a long-term strategy to more than double its advisor force.  

After presenting the plan to the board of directors and executives, Wesley Long, head of the private client services group at Wedbush, began a recruiting program in July that he expects will add at least 1,000 advisors over the next 10 years.  The goal is to reach 700 after five years and average around 60 new recruits each year.

 "It is aggressive although we think that the culture that we offer is very appealing, so we think it's very attainable," Wesley Long, executive vice president and head of private client services said. "I actually anticipate exceeding those goals over the five years."

The allure of the Los Angeles-based firm's culture is that it is very entrepreneurial, according to Long who said that the flat management structure and open-door policy makes it attractive to advisors such as Huyler, who left Morgan Stanley after over two decades. 

"We have an entrepreneurial environment that allows her to pick the products and services that are best for her client and a very flat management structure with an open-door policy, so that she has access to all levels of management at any point in time, and those were all areas that were very appealing to her," Long explained. "We just don't mandate people; we don't force people. We expect advisors to do what's in the best interest in their clients, and we provide the products and services they need."

As part of its broader goal to reach the 1,000 advisors, Long said that the firm does not have specific expectations for how many will be female advisors, but does anticipate the firm will look to hire women where possible.

"We have several female advisors already working at Wedbush doing a fantastic job for their clients, so we would look to bring more on where we can," he said. "Unfortunately there are not as many female advisors in the industry as we'd like to see."

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