ON THE MOVE-Baird hires two advisers to expand Houston offices

NEW YORK, July 23 Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:09pm EDT

NEW YORK, July 23 (Reuters) - Baird Financial Group, the holding company of Robert W. Baird & Co, said on Wednesday it has hired two financial advisers to bolster its Houston offices, including the manager of one of the top producing offices for UBS Financial Services in the Texas city.

Craig Young was hired as Baird's Houston market director on July 18. He formerly managed UBS's Houston Galleria office, where he oversaw roughly 55 advisers and $6 billion in assets.

Young was hired to expand Baird's broker force at the firm's two Houston offices located in the Galleria neighborhood, about a mile from Young's old UBS office, and in the Memorial City area.

Gary Foose, who was also hired on July 18, joined Baird's Memorial City office from Wells Fargo Advisors, where he managed $350 million in client assets and produced $1 million revenue in the most last twelve months.

UBS and Wells Fargo confirmed the advisers had left their brokerages, but both declined to comment further.

The hires come as part of Baird's "second wave" of expansion in the Houston market, said Jarrett Kovics, Texas market director for Baird Private Wealth Management.

Last July, Baird hired 14 financial advisers managing $2.6 billion in assets to open the office in Memorial City, which focuses on investing opportunities in the energy sector.

"We think the market can bear a few more high-integrity, high-producing people who want to grow Baird," Kovics said, adding that they built and rented extra office in both offices because they anticipate adding more brokers.

Young is the latest top adviser to defect from UBS's offices at the Houston Galleria.

Robert Gardner III and Robert Higley joined Wells Fargo Advisors on July 1 from UBS's Houston Galleria office, where they produced $2.5 million in revenue in the final 12 months at the brokerage.

In late May, a four-person group led by Todd Lavergne joined the independent Texas broker dealer U.S. Capital Advisors from the same UBS office in Houston, where the team managed $500 million in client assets and generated $3.2 million in trailing 12 months' production.

Young declined to comment specifically on UBS, but said that he was drawn to Baird's technology and structure as an employee-owned firm because it encourages teamwork.

"We want to partner with people who put others ahead of themselves," he said. (Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article