ON THE MOVE-Benjamin Edwards adds advisers from Wells Fargo

Mon Jan 7, 2013 4:18pm EST

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Jan 7 (Reuters) - Benjamin F. Edwards & Co, a boutique brokerage with family ties to the old A.G. Edwards & Sons, has opened an office in the greater Chicago area with three veteran advisers who joined the firm from Wells Fargo & Co.

Adviser Dennis Anderson, who had been a senior vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors, joined Benjamin Edwards on Friday as branch manager of the new office in Woodstock.

"This isn't something we do very often," Anderson said in an interview on Monday, noting that this was the first time in his two-decade advising career that he has switched firms.

Anderson said his close ties with the firm's founder and chief executive, Benjamin "Tad" Edwards, who had been his regional manager earlier in his career, contributed to his decision to move. Another reason was the similar culture that he said existed at the firm, which reminded him of his A.G. Edwards roots.

Anderson, who started his career at A.G. Edwards in 1992, joined Wells in 2008 after the company acquired Wachovia, which one year earlier had bought A.G. Edwards.

"Both firms have always believed that the client is the reason we're all here," said Anderson, referring to the A.G. Edwards and the new Benjamin Edwards.

"The transition has been an enormous amount of work, but one of the most positive things that I can remember in some time," he said.

Adviser James Wormley and his son, Ryan Wormley, also joined Benjamin Edwards' Woodstock office, where Anderson is branch manager. The two advisers, who joined the firm as senior vice presidents, were also legacy A.G. Edwards advisers.

Since its founding in 2008, St. Louis-based Benjamin Edwards has expanded its adviser base by hiring dozens of legacy A.G. Edwards advisers from Wells.

Anderson was joined by assistant branch manager Jenny Murray, while the Wormley team was joined by senior registered financial associate Sandy Shay and financial associate Matt Wormley.

Wells Fargo declined to comment on the departures.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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