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Wells Fargo keeps losing them — $1B team joins Baird

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Baird hired a team that managed $1 billion in client assets from Wells Fargo, a company spokeswoman said.

Margaret R. Price, Sarah K. Springer, and Grant F. Shearer now operate from Baird's new office in Anchorage, Alaska. It's the regional brokerage firm's first wealth management office in the “Last Frontier.”

For its part, Wells Fargo has suffered from advisor attrition. Headcount, at 14,564 at the end of the third quarter, was down 3% compared to the year-ago period, Wells Fargo reported.

Some advisors have left the wirehouse to go independent or join regional brokerages for what they see as greater entrepreneurial freedom, access to the better technology and corporate cultures. Wells Fargo has also suffered from bank scandals and regulatory scrutiny.

Regional brokerage firms have been on a recruiting roll this year. RBC's U.S. wealth management unit pulled in more new hires in the first six months of 2017 than it did in all of 2016, according to the company. Raymond James, Janney Montgomery Scott and others have also had a lot of recruiting success this year.

Wells Fargo's wirehouse competitors, meanwhile, have cut back on hiring new talent. Morgan Stanley and UBS have also announced that their departures from the Broker Protocol, an industry accord that permits advisors switching firms to take basic client information with them.

Milwaukee-based Baird has approximately 860 financial advisors in 29 states. The firm has client assets of $126 billion.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman could not be reached for immediate comment.

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