SOURCE: Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.

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

July 12, 2010 07:13 ET

New Atlanta Branch Makes Ten for Brokerage Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.

New Office in Alpharetta Is the Company's First in the Southeast

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) -  Brokerage firm Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. (www.benjaminfedwards.com) appeared to be facing an uphill climb when it was founded in 2008. The economy was in the midst of its free-fall and many of the most well-known names on Wall Street were in jeopardy, or disappearing altogether. 

What a difference two years makes. Thanks to a prudent growth strategy, ongoing interest from financial services professionals and favorable client reviews, the company is on track, having established 10 branches in 11 months.

Today, company officials for the St. Louis-based brokerage announced the opening of the firm's 10th branch nationally and its first in the Southeast. The new branch, located in Alpharetta, Ga., an Atlanta suburb, opens with six experienced financial professionals, all of whom worked previously with Wells Fargo Advisors (formerly A.G. Edwards). 

"This new office represents a milestone for us on so many different levels, but most importantly we are thrilled to have attracted such a distinguished group of experienced financial professionals to anchor our presence in Georgia and in the Southeast," said Benjamin F. (Tad) Edwards IV, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. "Having opened our first branch ten months ago, I am proud of the progress we've made in such a short time and firmly believe that our client-friendly business practices are an appealing alternative for investors in the Atlanta area and beyond. I am even more confident that we have a bright future ahead of us."

A commitment to clients that extends through generations
Putting clients first and providing financial services of value is not something new for Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. founder and chairman Benjamin F. (Tad) Edwards IV. He was raised with these ideals and witnessed first-hand how they can guide a brokerage operation successfully. 

Edwards started the company in 2008, a year after A.G. Edwards, a St. Louis brokerage founded by his great-great-grandfather in 1887, was acquired by Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Advisors). Tad Edwards named the new firm after his father, Benjamin F. Edwards III, the long-time chairman of A.G. Edwards and financial services leader who was lauded by one industry publication as a "champion for the client."

In discussing Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. and its prospects for success, surprisingly Tad Edwards does not mention profit margins or revenue projections. Instead, he points to the guiding principles of the Golden Rule and the importance of creating a corporate culture based on mutual respect, trust, and even having fun.

"We started this firm two years ago because we believed there was a niche in the competitive world of financial services for a special firm which is committed to delivering a broad spectrum of financial products and services through a client service model that strives to offer unparalleled service," said Edwards. "The opening of the Atlanta office and the success we have enjoyed coincides with these beliefs and underscores the importance of hiring high-quality individuals who share our passion for client service."

New Atlanta-area branch staffed with experienced financial services professionals
The new location which is located on Northwinds Parkway in Alpharetta is led by Senior Vice President - Investments and Branch Manager Roland H. de Liniere, a financial services veteran with nearly 30 years of experience serving clients in the Atlanta area. 

He joined the A.G. Edwards Northlake branch in 1988 and was named branch manager two years later. In 1997, he combined the Northlake branch with the firm's location at Johns Creek. At its peak, the combined operation at Johns Creek employed 27 financial consultants. 

Joining de Liniere at the new Alpharetta branch for Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. are the following:

Marilyn C. Hedrick, CFP® and Monnye Hedrick Furr, AAMS® -- Hedrick and Furr are a mother-daughter team and will join the new firm as a vice president - investments and a financial consultant, respectively. Hedrick's career in financial services started in 1993 when she joined the A.G. Edwards branch in Albany, Ga., after working in education and government for a number of years. In 2004, she was named branch manager and served in that capacity for five years before stepping down to focus exclusively on client service. 

Monnye Hedrick Furr joined the A.G. Edwards Albany branch in 2004 after graduating from the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia with a degree in business administration. She earned her Accredited Asset Management SpecialistSM designation from the College for Financial Planning® that same year. In 2006, she relocated to the Atlanta area and worked in branches in Roswell and Alpharetta. 

Hedrick and Furr will work with clients in Albany and Atlanta, as well as other areas in the Southeast. 

Richard R. Cardin -- Cardin signs on with Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. as a vice president - investments. He is a 20-year financial services veteran who began his brokerage career after graduating from the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia with a degree in economics. In 1989, he joined the A.G. Edwards Northlake branch where he worked with de Liniere. Eight years later, Cardin transferred to the company's Johns Creek office and was named assistant branch manager of that location in 1998. 

Susan K. Walker, CFP® -- Walker joins Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. as assistant branch manager. She began her career in financial services almost 20 years ago in the Operations Division at the A.G. Edwards Home Office in St. Louis. In 1994, she relocated to the Atlanta area where she served in a variety of roles at local A.G. Edwards branches, including helping de Liniere with his client service and branch management responsibilities. 

Jennifer E. Pierce -- Hired in 1999 at the A.G. Edwards Johns Creek location, Pierce earned her securities license in 2003. She will assist Cardin with his client service responsibilities and hold the title of senior registered financial associate. 

"All of us are thrilled and excited to be on board at Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.," said de Liniere. "This company offers a unique blend of quality products and services with a rich legacy of client service as represented by the Edwards family. We believe this combination will resonate with clients and investors in Atlanta and across the state." 

Future growth
Now that the "10th branch" milestone has been reached, the firm will continue to grow prudently, adding branches and financial consultants when it makes economic sense and the cultural "fit" feels right, Edwards added. 

"Our special culture is what differentiates us from our competitors, and to sustain it we must carefully consider the economics of any new location, as well as look for dedicated, enthusiastic team players," said Edwards. "We also evaluate leadership and talent and do everything possible to make sure that each candidate shares our commitment to client service and embraces our corporate ideals of trust, integrity, and mutual respect." 

Tapping an industry leader: Pershing LLC
Helping the firm stay focused on attracting talent and providing superior client service is the fact that it outsources most of its technology support and relies on Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon Company, for back office and trade processing support. A financial services leader with over 70 years of experience and more than $802 billion in client assets held in custody, Pershing also offers a comprehensive suite of investment solutions and services, including access to a broad selection of mutual funds and support for advisory programs. BNY Mellon is the world's leading provider of securities services and a top, global asset management firm, with over $22.4 trillion of assets in custody and $1.1 trillion in assets under management.

"Thanks to our reliance on Pershing and outside technology providers, we are able to have the scale necessary to bring additional locations on board, while also enabling our Home Office team to focus on attracting new talent and helping our financial consultants serve their clients," said Edwards. 

SIPC and supplemental coverage available
Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $100,000 for claims for cash). An explanatory brochure is available upon request or at www.sipc.org. Pershing also provides additional coverage for eligible securities.

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. In addition to Atlanta, the firm has four branches in Illinois located in Decatur, Peoria, Springfield, and Wheaton; other branches are located in Springfield, Mo., White Plains, N.Y., Bluefield, Va., Madison, Wis., and Hamden, Conn. A subsidiary of Benjamin Edwards, Inc., Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. is a full-service brokerage and a Registered Investment Adviser offering 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

About Pershing LLC
Pershing LLC (member FINRA/NYSE/SIPC) is a leading global provider of financial business solutions to more than 1,150 institutional and retail financial organizations and independent registered investment advisors who collectively represent approximately five million active investors. Located in 20 offices worldwide, Pershing and its affiliates are committed to delivering dependable operational support, robust trading services, flexible technology, an expansive array of investment solutions, practice management support and service excellence. Pershing is a member of every major U.S. securities exchange and its international affiliates are members of the Deutsche Börse, the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Pershing LLC is a BNY Mellon company. Additional information is available at www.pershing.com.

Contact Information

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