SOURCE: Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.

financial services, brokerage, brokerage service, investment advice, money management

March 31, 2011 12:30 ET

Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. -- 'Organic' Growth Drives Advisor Headcount

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - March 31, 2011) - St. Louis-based brokerage Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. (benjaminfedwards.com) boosted its broker headcount by more than 12 percent during the first three months of the year, hiring a total of six new financial consultants to existing offices. The achievement is further indication that the company is gaining traction adding individual financial consultants to branches already open. 

"We've always been engaged in a dual strategy of adding new locations, while also attracting financial consultants to branches already open," said Benjamin F. (Tad) Edwards IV, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. "Doing so enables us to better leverage our existing branch infrastructure, while also helping us devote our resources to opening new branch offices as opportunities present themselves." 

Most recently, the firm has added three financial consultants to its Mentor, Ohio, location, and one financial consultant and a senior registered sales associate to its Springfield, Mo., office. All are transferring from Wells Fargo Advisors.

Mentor, Ohio
Located in greater Cleveland, the Mentor branch has added the following three new financial consultants, bringing total branch employment to 11:

  • Kurt Faulhaber - A financial services veteran of 25 years, Faulhaber joins Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. as a senior vice president - investments. He joined A.G. Edwards in 1986 and entered the ranks of branch management in 1999. Since then, he has managed offices in Medina and Westlake, Ohio. 

    After a brief transition, Faulhaber will assume responsibilities as branch manager for the Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. location in Mentor, while Vic Lunka, the current branch manager and senior vice president - investments, will devote his efforts to servicing his clients primarily at the firm's Highlands, N.C., branch and split his time working there and at the Mentor office. 

  • Ted Rigo - With a concentration in helping clients plan for retirement or other life-changing events, Rigo joins Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. as a vice president - investments. He started his career in financial services at A.G. Edwards 20 years ago after graduating Kent State University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. 

  • Harry Rigo - Also concentrating on retirement planning topics, Harry Rigo earned his Series 7 license in March 1999 while at A.G. Edwards. At Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. he holds the title of financial consultant.

Springfield, Missouri
The first branch in the Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. network, having opened in August 2009, brings aboard Gregory V. Sullivan as a senior vice president - investments. 

Sullivan, a 23-year securities industry veteran, is transferring from the Lebanon, Mo., branch location of Wells Fargo Advisors (previously A.G. Edwards and Wachovia Securities), which he joined in 1992, and where he has served as a branch manager since 1997. He is known for his regular market reports on KJEL-FM and KJPW-FM in Lebanon and Waynesville, Mo., respectively. In addition, he earned his Accredited Asset Management Specialist designation from the College for Financial Planning® in 2007. 

Also making the move with Sullivan to assist with his client service responsibilities is Joan Bondra, his long-time assistant, who will serve as a senior registered financial associate. 

These new personnel additions come on the heels of the Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. Springfield, Ill., branch office hiring Rob Pietroburgo, CFP®, as a managing director - investments last month. Previously, Pietroburgo served as director of branches for A.G. Edwards. After that company was acquired by Wachovia Securities and later Wells Fargo Advisors, Pietroburgo held other senior management positions at the succeeding entities. 

In February, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. added Rick Balmaseda, a veteran of Prudential and Wachovia Securities, as a senior vice president - investments to work in its Danbury, Conn., branch. 

"All of these individuals share our commitment to putting clients first and we're thrilled to have them join us," said Benjamin F. (Tad) Edwards IV. "Our goal is to not only build a thriving brokerage firm, but to also establish and nurture a culture that supports our client-first mission. We believe we can accomplish this by consistently adding individuals who have the qualities that make that possible -- trust, integrity and mutual respect."

Prudent growth preferred
The brokerage has opened 15 branches over the last 19 months and plans to add more when opportunities present themselves. "We continue to see strong interest from financial professionals from a variety of firms who are interested in joining Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.," said Edwards. "Our growth strategy goes beyond putting pins on a map. We want to add locations and personnel when it makes sense -- economically and culturally." 

Edwards noted that when opening a branch, the firm initially looks for financial consultants who have a track record of leadership and branch development and builds a location around these individuals. A similar approach is taken when adding personnel to existing locations. 

With a pledge to put its clients' interests first, employees second and shareholder concerns third, Edwards founded Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. in 2008 and named the firm for his father, Benjamin F. Edwards III, the long-time chairman of A.G. Edwards. "We wanted to create a special company devoted to serving clients and helping them achieve their financial goals and objectives," Edwards said.

Firm statistics
With the recent additions, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. now employs 156 company-wide, including 102 in its branch network, which now includes 15 offices in nine states. 

About Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.
With a tagline of "Investments for Generations" and a company logo anchored by the Edwards family crest, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. and was founded in 2008 by Benjamin F. (Tad) Edwards IV, the great-great-grandson of Albert Gallatin Edwards, the founder of brokerage firm A.G. Edwards. The company has branch offices in Danbury and Hamden, Conn.; St. Louis and Springfield, Mo.; Highlands, N.C.; White Plains, N.Y.; Atlanta, Ga.; Bluefield, Va.; Madison, Wis.; Mentor, Ohio; and Peoria, Springfield, Decatur, Galesburg and Wheaton, Ill. 

A subsidiary of Benjamin Edwards, Inc., Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. is a full-service brokerage and a Registered Investment Adviser, which offers a wide array of financial products and advisory services to its clients and financial consultants. For more information about Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., please visit www.benjaminfedwards.com

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Margaret Welch
    (314) 703-1215
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