Brokerage firm Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. has expanded its reach to North Carolina with the opening of a new branch and the appointment of Steven R. Perry as branch manager and vice president of investments.

The new Highlands, N.C., location brings Edwards’ branch office operations to eight states, in addition to Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin. The St. Louis-based firm has 14 total locations.

The new branch caps off a year of expansion for Edwards, which most recently announced the opening of a new office in Danbury, Conn. last month.

Perry previously worked at A.G. Edwards, where he established new locations in Montgomery, Ala., and Highlands, N.C. A.G. Edwards was acquired in 2007 by Wachovia Securities, now Wells Fargo Advisors.

With the new North Carolina branch, Edwards has also added Harriet Hamilton to its team as a registered financial associate. Hamilton has worked with Perry on client service since 2005.

With Edwards’ opening of the Highlands, N.C., branch, the firm now has 134 total employees and 44 financial consultants.