Brokerage firm Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. has staffed its new Chattanooga, Tenn. office with nine new hires, many from Wells Fargo Advisors, while also adding a Morgan Keegan veteran to its Texas team.

The opening of the new Chattanooga office marks the firm’s 17th national location and its first office in Tennessee. That office will be led by Joseph Edward “Ward” Petty, who joins the firm as branch manager and managing director of investments from Wells Fargo Advisors.

Petty has been registered with Wells Fargo since January 2008, according to records from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and with A.G. Edwards & Sons before that since February 1991. Petty opened the local Chattanooga office of A.G. Edwards in 1991.

At the same time, the Chattanooga office will include eight other new hires, many also coming from Wells Fargo Advisors and its predecessor A.G. Edwards.

That includes Joseph H. “Joe” Petty, Ward Petty’s father, who will serve as financial consultant and assistant branch manager. Joe Petty previously served as assistant branch manager and financial consultant at A.G. Edwards through its transformation under Wells Fargo Advisors. He joined A.G. Edwards in September 1998, according to FINRA records.

Other new hires to the Tennessee office joining from Wells Fargo Advisors include Aon D. Miller, who will serve as senior vice president of investments; Joe Donnovin, Jr., vice president of investments; Joe Pollak and Laura G. Owsley, both financial consultants.

Miller first joined A.G. Edwards in August 1998, Donnovin joined the firm in November 1993 and Pollak joined in November 1998, FINRA records show. Owsley joined the Chattanooga office of Wells Fargo Advisors in March 2009 from Merrill Lynch.

Other appointments to the Chattanooga office include Scott K. Sholl, financial consultant assisting Ward Petty with client management; Tammy Vonna, senior registered financial associate, assisting both Ward Petty and Scott Sholl with client services; and Susan Gerschefski, operations specialist and financial associate working with Joe Donnovin, Jr.

At the same time, Benjamin F. Edwards has also hired Rodney P. Gray from Morgan Keegan to work in new branch development in Texas. Gray previously spent seven years at Morgan Keegan, serving as senior vice president, assistant regional manager and regional sales manager for the firm’s Southwest region. In his new role, Gray will help Benjamin F. Edwards create new Texas branches and report to Roger A. Buller, senior vice president, regional manager and Wichita branch manager.

Based in St. Louis, Benjamin F. Edwards is a full-service brokerage and registered investment adviser. The firm 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.