July 16, 2014 / 10:10 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-ON THE MOVE-Brokerage Benjamin Edwards hires 10 Wells advisers

(Updates with comment from recently hired broker)

July 16 (Reuters) - Benjamin F. Edwards & Co, a boutique brokerage with family ties to the old A.G. Edwards & Sons, said it has hired 10 advisers away from Wells Fargo Advisers since May.

The St. Louis-based investment firm and registered investment adviser announced that the recruits have opened three offices in Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas, and joined existing offices in Denver and New Jersey.

A privately held company, Benjamin Edwards did not disclose production or assets under management for any of the advisers, and Wells Fargo did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Benjamin Edwards announced the hires on Tuesday.

John Weir and Joshua Willard were the newest brokers to join the firm, opening a new Benjamin Edwards’ office in Harrison, Arkansas, on July 11.

Ernie Wright and Margaret Wright joined the firm on June 27 with a new office in Clemson, South Carolina, the firm’s first in the state.

Bruce Melton and Katiebeth Worrell joined on May 27 and May 28, respectively, opening a new office in Sherman, Texas.

Eric Bench and Jason Clouse joined the existing Benjamin Edwards’ office in the Denver, Colorado, suburb of Greenwood Village on June 13, and Samuel Annitto joined the firm’s office in Red Bank, New Jersey on May 21.

More than half of the new hires had worked at A.G. Edwards & Sons before moving to Wells Fargo Advisers.

Bench previously worked at A.G. Edwards before Wells Fargo, and he moved to Benjamin Edwards to regain the community culture of a small firm, he said.

“I feel like everyone at this firm is on the same team,” he said.

Since its founding in 2008, Benjamin Edwards has expanded its adviser base by hiring dozens of legacy A.G. Edwards advisers, the bulk of them from Wells. The firm currently employs around 400 people at 47 branches in 24 states. (Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Andrew Hay)

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