CORRECTED - Baird continues sweep of Morgan Stanley talent

Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:54pm EDT

(Corrects to show that Denise Wypiszenski is no longer at Baird; Incorporates earlier correction showing that Jarrett Kovics came from Prudential, not Morgan Stanley; For related story click on [ID:nN25136111)]

* Baird opens wealth offices in Charleston, Fort Worth

* Hires one manager and 8 advisers from Morgan Stanley

* Advisers oversaw combined $1.3 billion in client assets

NEW YORK, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Baird Private Wealth Management said on Tuesday it hired eight advisers and a branch manager from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to establish new offices in Charleston, South Carolina, and Fort Worth, Texas.

Milwaukee-based Baird has hired nine branch managers so far this year, six of whom have come from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

The latest hire is Charles Knowlton, who spent eight years at Smith Barney, according to filings from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Knowlton will be the manager of Baird's first office in South Carolina, as well as overseeing his own clients, and has already lured a team away from his former firm. Mildred Kitchell and Nicholas Verano spent eight and five years, respectively, at Smith Barney, according to FINRA filings.

Kitchell, Verano and Knowlton previously oversaw a combined $360 million of client assets, according to Baird.

Jarrett Kovics, who joined Baird in June from Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N), is establishing the firm's first office in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to Prudential, Kovics also spent 11 years at Smith Barney.

Kovics recently hired a six-person team from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. W. Paul Davis, Roger Metz, Craig Nicholson, William Knight, Peter Philpott and Paul Robinson previously oversaw more than $920 million of client assets.

Denise Wypiszenski, Baird Private Wealth's former chief operating officer, spent 15 years at Smith Barney before moving to Baird in November 2009.

In January 2009, Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) combined their wealth management units in a joint venture. (Reporting by Helen Kearney; editing by Andre Grenon)

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