March 4 (Reuters) - Brokerage firm Stifel, Nicolaus & Co has expanded its adviser force in Florida with three new hires from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Robert W. Baird & Co, opening a new office in the region.
The new additions, who joined Stifel's private client group on Thursday, managed a combined $243 million in client assets at their old firms. They opened a new office for Stifel in Clearwater, Florida.
Among the recruits, adviser Mark Smith moved to Stifel from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the brokerage majority-owned by Morgan Stanley and partially owned by Citigroup. Smith managed $118 million in client assets at the firm.
Smith, who has been in the advising industry for 26 years, joined Stifel as a first vice president of investments.
Also on the move, advisers Gerard "Jerry" Kelly and Arleen Doran joined Stifel from Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. They managed a combined $125 million in client assets.
Kelly, who joined Stifel as a senior vice president, will also serve as branch manager for the new Clearwater office.
Morgan Stanley declined to comment on Smith's departure. Baird also declined to comment.
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based financial services holding company Stifel Financial Corp. Stifel hired 152 financial advisers in its wealth management unit during 2012, according to its year-end report released Feb. 25.
The firm in late January also opened a new office in Stuart, Florida with veteran advisers who together managed $277 million in client assets at their old firms, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Wells Fargo & Co's Wells Fargo Advisors.