William Blair recruited two teams that managed a combined $1 billion in client assets, a spokesman said.

The boutique wealth management firm's new hires joined from Merrill Lynch and UBS amid a recruiting slowdown at those wirehouses and rival Morgan Stanley.

However, that doesn't mean demand for top talent has slackened, says Ryan DeVore, head of Private Client Advisors at William Blair.

"There are plenty of competitors out there even with three wirehouses quieting down," DeVore says.

His firm's latest hires include ex-Merrill brokers Chris Rosamond and Arthur Patterson, who joined the firm last month in New York. They were wirehouse veterans. Rosamond had been with Merrill since joining the business in 2000, while Patterson had worked at the industry giant since starting his career in 2003, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

In Boston, William Blair hired veteran advisers James Devins III and Joseph Roberts, also in May. Devins has been in the industry for 35 years; Roberts for 42 years. They had worked at UBS since 2005, having previously served at RBC, according to BrokerCheck.
Spokespersons for Merrill and UBS declined to comment.

"I think our story resonates with folks who have worked at smaller firms in the past that may have been absorbed by the wirehouses, or by folks just looking for something different," says Ryan DeVore, head of Private Client Advisors at William Blair.

GROWING FIRM
William Blair has both an investment bank and wealth management arm, and was founded in 1935.

The Chicago-based company has been selectively hiring elite talent in recent years, picking up teams in Atlanta, Boston and New York. Prior to these new hires, the firm picked a Merrill Lynch team that oversaw $350 million in client assets. That group was also based in New York.

"We're actively looking to expand in a few other markets where we already have a presence, particularly on the West Coast," DeVore says.

The company's wealth management business has $26 billion in private wealth assets as of March 31, according to William Blair.

DeVore, who has been with the boutique for four-and-a-half years, doesn't have recruitment quotas, he says. The firm looks for advisers who fit its partner and team-oriented culture, he says.

"I think our story resonates with folks who have worked at smaller firms in the past that may have been absorbed by the wirehouses, or by folks just looking for something different," he says.

He adds: "We believe that client problems don't have to be solved with thousands of advisers. They can be solved with 100 good ones."

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