Stifel, Nicolaus & Company has added several research analysts in the healthcare sector.

Frederick (Rick) Wise and Jonathan Block will be joining the firm as managing directors and senior equity research analysts covering healthcare. In addition, Robert Mains has joined the firm as a managing director, providing research coverage of healthcare providers and real estate companies.

Wise joins Stifel from Leerink Swann, where he was a senior managing director covering medical devices, life sciences, and diagnostics. Prior to Leerink Swann, Wise worked at Bear Stearns and Kidder Peabody. Each year from 1995 to 2008, Wise was a top-ranked analyst on Institutional Investor's All-America Research Team; he also has been highly ranked several times in the Greenwich Associates U.S. Equity Analysts poll.

Block comes to Stifel from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, where he was a managing director and senior medical device analyst. Previously, he was at Banc of America Securities.

Mains moves from Morgan Keegan, where he was a senior equity research analyst, following healthcare providers and real estate. He has worked at Ryan Beck, Advest Group, and First Albany. Mains, who was named the #1 stock picker among REIT industry analysts in the Financial Times/StarMine 2008 Global Analyst Awards, also has been ranked in the Wall Street Journal's Best on the Street Survey and in the Reuters U.S. Larger Company Research Survey.

Both Wise and Block will join Stifel in September, working from the firm's New York office. Mains is based in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Recently, Mains made news when he upgraded Healthcare Services to "buy" from "hold." The company, which provides housekeeping and food services to hospitals and nursing homes, had dropped sharply as result of negative analyst commentary. Mains said that company is misunderstood because it actually benefits from concerns about government regulations; he contended that the lower trading price offered investors an attractive return.  

According to Stifel, the addition of these research analysts greatly enhances the firm’s presence in the healthcare sector. When the newcomers are all on board, Stifel will have a research team of 17 healthcare professionals covering over 110 companies; the company said that will place it in the top 10 in healthcare coverage on Wall Street.

"Stifel continues to capitalize on opportunities in the current environment and will strategically invest to take advantage of those opportunities,” commented Ronald J. Kruszewski, chairman, president and CEO of Stifel Financial. “The addition of these high-caliber analysts, as well as the other professionals who have joined us this year, is confirmation of our commitment to servicing our institutional, corporate, and retail clients."