Stifel snags $935 million adviser team from Merrill Lynch

Stifel Financial Corp. announced Friday that an adviser team managing $935 million in client assets is leaving Merrill Lynch to join the firm’s broker-dealer subsidiary, Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc.

The team, which consists of four long-time Merrill Lynch advisers, marks the third group of advisers to transition away from the wirehouse in favor of Stifel this year, a company spokesman confirmed. Combined, Stifel has brought on a total of $1.87 billion assets from Merrill alone, according to company announcements. 

The former Merrill team is led by Blase Sparma and Stephen Long, Jr., who together have spent more than three decades at Merrill, according to Finra BrokerCheck records. Brad Ripplemeyer and Hampton Ballard, with 8-year and 5-year brokerage careers at Merrill, respectively, round out the group. 

“We’re a family, and that’s how we operate our business,” Long and Sparma said in a joint statement. “Everyone is excited to partner with a company which embraces a culture where the interests of our clients come first.”

With the addition of Sparma, Long, Ripplemeter and Ballard, Stifel has opened a new Venice, Florida-based office marking the firm’s twenty-third location in Florida. 

The announcement comes on the heels of a Wilmington, North Carolina-based Merrill team that transitioned to Stifel at the end of May. The team is led by another pair of long-time Merrill advisers, Bruce Chappell and Jennifer Santaniello, who were managing $354 million in client assets at the wirehouse, a spokesman confirmed. In February, Stifel snagged two separate advisers —  O’Fallon, Illinois-based Kevin Maxim and San Rafael, California-based Jeff Wells — who combined oversaw $585 million in client assets from Merrill.

Stifel has also recently poached an Anderson, Indiana-based father-son adviser duo from Wells Fargo Advisors. Steve Bottomley and his son Daniel Bottomley transitioned to Stifel June 23. They managed $310 million in client assets at the wirehouse.

St. Louis-based Stifel has 2,224 brokers a part of its broker-dealer network as of March 31, according to the firm’s first-quarter earnings report. 

The post Stifel snags $935 million adviser team from Merrill Lynch appeared first on InvestmentNews.

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