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Top Branch Managers of 2014

Top Ten Branch Managers Top Ten Branch Managers


Each year On Wall Street partners with New York Life/MainStay Investments to honor wealth management’s top branch managers. This year’s nominations came from industry insiders, including advisors and support staff, the people who best know the positive impact that a great branch manager can have on his or her office.


“In the mid-90s, it was about product education. In the early 2000s, it was about risk management and mitigation. In 2008, it was about explaining how we were going to navigate those treacherous waters. Throughout those years you were putting the client first. And as a manager you were looking for how you could help FAs do that,” explains Kirk Mandlin, a Portland complex manager for Wells Fargo Advisors, and also one of this year’s honorees.


Our independent panel of judges – Bill Butterfield, analyst at Aite Group, Kenton Shirk, associate director at Cerulli Associates, and Stewart Lee, CEO of Lee Training – vetted the nominations and winnowed the list down to the top 100 branch managers. From this group of honorees they selected the top ten managers of the year, based on their abilities to motivate, mentor and guide their advisors to higher levels of success.


Click through to see this year's top ten.


And read more here to learn about this year’s winners, including what they look for in recruits, their biggest challenge and the achievements they’re most proud of.

Thomas Hirsch Thomas Hirsch

Firm: Raymond James & Associates

Title: Branch manager

Location: Louisville, Ky.

Years in industry: 31

Advisors managed: 45

Branch AUM: $3 billion

Education: Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania

Steve Pitassi Steve Pitassi

Firm: Janney Montgomery Scott

Title: Branch manager

Location: Providence, R.I.

Years in industry: 33

Advisors Managed: 13

Branch AUM: $1.36 billion

Education: Roger Williams University

Scott Fergang Scott Fergang

Firm: RBC Wealth Management

Title: Senior vice president, branch director

Location: Paramus, N.J.

Year in industry: 27

Advisors managed: 13

Branch AUM: $1.6 billion

Education: Emerson College

John Banks John Banks

Firm: Wells Fargo Advisors

Title: Branch manager

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Years in industry: 32

Advisors managed: 41

Branch AUM: $2.4 billion

Education: Wake Forest University

Thomas LaPorte Thomas LaPorte

Firm: Raymond James & Associates

Title: Branch manager

Location: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Years in industry: 38

Advisors managed: 26

Branch AUM: Almost $2 billion

Education: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Fred Brown Fred Brown

Firm: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Title: Resident director

Location: Montgomery, Ala.

Years in industry: 28

Advisors managed: 22

Branch AUM: $2.6 billion

Education: University of Alabama

Kirk Mandlin Kirk Mandlin

Firm: Wells Fargo Advisors

Title: Complex manager

Location: Portland, Wash.

Years in industry: 23

Advisors managed: 44

Branch AUM: $7.8 billion

Education: Western Washington University

Jim Hawkins Jim Hawkins

Firm: Wells Fargo Advisors

Title: Regional brokerage manager

Location: Seattle

Years in industry: 23

Advisors managed: 25

Branch AUM: $2.3 billion

Education: University of Oregon

Dennis Schmidt Dennis Schmidt

Firm: Wells Fargo Advisors

Title: Senior vice president, branch manager

Location: New York

Years in industry: 37

Advisors managed: 60

Branch AUM: $10 billion

Education: Lycoming College; Babson College

Deborah Shepherd Deborah Shepherd

Firm: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Title: Managing director

Location: Princeton, N.J.

Years in industry: 24

Advisors managed: 41

Branch AUM: $2.4 billion

Education: U.S. Naval Academy

On Wall Street partners with New York Life/MainStay Investments to honor the top ten branch managers for 2014.

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