So far, the firm has picked up three advisors with approximately $3.6 million in production and plans to add nearly 60 advisors in the remainder of the year. The new hires are part of a plan put into place last October when the firm tapped Andrew Kistler, a 30-year industry veteran from Stifel Nicolaus, to be regional manager in charge of building out the firm’s Southeastern presence.
“We may open, as well as the Hendersonville office, another four to five throughout the year, not exclusively in the Southeast although I would expect the majority to be,” Lombard said. “That was our plan when we brought on Andy Kistler from Stifel.”
In addition to picking up a UBS advisor with $180 million in assets in Raleigh, N.C., the firm has added the Grice Financial Group and opened a new branch office in Hendersonville, N.C.
David E. Grice, who leads the team, is a former Merrill Lynch advisor with over $140 million in client assets. He is joined by team members Linda Weeks, account executive; Kim Surrett, branch operations assistant; Jaylee Blakeney, registered private client assistant; and Codruta Hategan-Drajan, private client assistant.
According to Lombard, the firm is not targeting the Carolinas in particular but capitalizing on an existing opportunity. Last week, Hilliard Lyons recruited a $165 million team from the same Merrill Lynch office in Hendersonville, N.C.
“I’m not sure what happened [at the Merrill Lynch office],” Lombard said. “Hendersonville is a very wealthy area that a lot of regionals want to be in if they’re not already there. And the wires are certainly there. By and large it was opportunistic.”
A spokesperson for Bank of America Merrill Lynch was not immediately available for comment.
As for future hires, the plan is to expand mostly in the Philadelphia-based firm’s existing footprint along the East coast and may extend into its boarders by a couple states.
“That is one of our primary areas of focus and I wouldn’t be surprised if we would spill into a contiguous state, but we don’t have any plans to do the bicoastal or jump to Texas or jump to Nevada or something like that,” he said. “We’re going to still keep out regional footprint in place.”
The firm, which has around 730 advisors in total, generally targets recruits with over $500,000 in production. Janney said that it had added around 33 “top tier” advisors last year.
“I would expect that our average [production per recruit] will come in somewhere around last year’s average of around $700,000 to $800,000,” Lombard said. “We’re off to a good start.”