Stifel Nicolaus has hired Richard Ward in Irvine, Calif. He joins from Merrill Lynch, where he had more than $74 million in client assets under management and $680,000 in annual production.  

HighTower has added David Molnar and Drew Nordlicht, of the Molnar/Nordlicht Group, from UBS Financial Services. Together, they managed $330 million in assets. They open HighTower's new San Diego location.  

Raymond James' employee broker-dealer arm, Raymond James & Associates, has hired Tom Ford and Jeff Jones in Peoria, Ill., from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. As a group, they had $118 million in client assets and more than $800,000 in annual production. Raymond James' independent unit, Raymond James Financial Services, also snapped up a Morgan Stanley team. Bill Carmel, Todd Carmel, Donn Carmel, and Mario Quintero Jr. have formed Carmel Quintero Financial Services in Westlake, Ohio. Together, they managed more than $400 million in AUM.

Wells Fargo Advisors nabbed five new advisors with $849 million in client assets. The largest team of those hires includes Michael Landsberg, Lewis Bennett and Anthony Dubbaneh who join from Merrill Lynch in Punta Gorda, Fla. Together, they oversaw $493 million in client assets and had $4.2 million in annual production.