Stifel's fast growing wealth management unit hit a snag this quarter, as profits dipped 5.6% year-over-year in the face of growing pains and soaring costs.

Over the past year, the St. Louis-based firm boosted its adviser ranks to nearly 2,900 from 2,000 through its acquisitions of Sterne Agree and Barclays' U.S. wealth management unit.

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