Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. has expanded its reach to the Pacific Northwest region with the opening of a new branch in the Portland, Ore., area staffed with a new team led by a former Wells Fargo financial advisor.

Brad R. Pease joins Benjamin Edwards as a managing director of investments following a 30-year career in the financial services industry. He most recently served at Wells Fargo Advisors. He came to Wells Fargo after working since 2005 at Wachovia Securities, which Wells Fargo acquired in 2008.

Pease’s new team, called the Pease Wealth Management Group and located in Lake Oswego, Ore., also includes new hires Paula Stiefel and Jenifer Thomas, who each serve as senior registered financial associates. Both Stiefel and Thomas previously worked on Pease’s team, with Stiefel having worked with him for 20 years and Thomas having joined the team in 2005.

The team looked at various firms before making their move, Pease said in a statement, which included taking a close look at the investment products and services offered such as financial planning tools.

“By our measures, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. excelled in all of the areas evaluated,” Pease said. “This fact, combined with the firm’s culture, which empowers us to advise our clients as we see fit, made the decision very easy for us.”

Based in St. Louis, Benjamin Edwards was founded in 2008 by Benjamin F. “Tad” Edwards IV, the great-great-grandson of the founder of brokerage firm A.G. Edwards, Albert Gallatin Edwards.