Stifel Rustles Another Multi-Million-Dollar Texas Team from Merrill
St. Louis-based Stifel Financial expanded its Texas network with recruits from Merrill Lynch for the second straight week on Thursday, hiring a pair of brokers north of Dallas who it said were managing around $590 million in client assets.
Kevin Karrh, who has spent his 19-year brokerage career with Merrill, left its Frisco office on Thursday along with Zachary Hope, who began his career five years ago at Merrill. They were producing around $3.5 million, according to Bob Johnson, a former regional manager at Merrill who joined Stifel last year.
“I feel confident that Kevin will attract like-minded advisors and clients to the Stifel brand,” Johnson said of Karrh, who will be a producing manager at a new Stifel, Nicolaus branch the firm will be opening in Frisco. Johnson said he had been friends with Karrh, who once managed Merrill’s Plano branch, for about a decade.
Last week Johnson landed the Houston-area team of Bart Reese and Zachary Williams, who had been producing around $3.4 million in annual revenue at their former firm. Reese also was a Merrill lifer, working there since 1991, while Williams—a registered rep since 2000—had been with the Thundering Herd since 2003.
Stifel employed 2,160 brokers in 371 branches as of the end of March, up from fewer than 700 mostly midwestern advisers less than 15 years ago. The total includes about 325 brokers absorbed from Sterne Agee, Barclays and two smaller firms through acquisitions in the past four years,
Stifel recruiting head John Pierce said in a prepared statement that the smaller firm allows its brokers more flexibility to “serve clients of any size or complexity on a nationwide basis without the layers of bureaucracy and costs that bank-owned entities foist upon their most important asset, their advisors.” Merrill Lynch is owned by Bank of America.
A spokeswoman at Merrill, which employed 14,761 brokers at the end of the first quarter, did not return a request for comment.
At Merrill, Karrh and Hope had worked with senior partner Helen A. Wathen, who left the brokerage industry in October after 38 years, according to her BrokerCheck record. Wathen was Merrill’s first woman stock broker in Dallas and one of its biggest Texas producers, according to a profile of her in a University of Notre Dame alumni magazine.
Separately, Pennsylvania-based Janney Montgomery Scott this week said it hired a Merrill team in Greenville, Delaware, that had been managing $350 million of client assets. Led by Steve Gansler, Jr., who had been with Merrill and Banc of America Investments for 13 years of his 18-year career, the team also includes advisors Colin P. Burke, Gregory R. Powell, and Michael J. Johnson.