Regional heavyweight Stifel Nicolaus has reeled in a 33-year Merrill Lynch veteran for one of its West Coast offices.

Richard Ward is leaving Merrill Lynch after more than three decades to join Stifel Nicolaus as first vice president/investments in the Irvine Spectrum, Calif., office.  The move to regional broker-dealers from larger firms has become increasingly popular since 2009 as advisors seek a more intimate culture and a change of pace from some of the larger firms.

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