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Edwards firm hits milestone of 100 brokers

Feb 17, 2013 @ 12:01 am

By Dan Jamieson

Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. has reached the 100-broker milestone with a new office in Melbourne, Fla.

The branch, the firm's 28th location, is headed by 27-year industry veteran Betsy Dickson and her daughter, Dawn Dickson.

They transferred from UBS Financial Services Inc. on Feb. 8. Both were formerly with A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc.

Benjamin F. Edwards now has branches in 15 states and 250 employees, including financial advisers.

Founder and chief executive Benjamin F. “Tad” Edwards IV said that he soon will have 30 offices but wouldn't specify where they will be.

A family-like culture at the firm, similar to the old A.G. Edwards, attracts legacy Edwards representatives and others, he said.

“We're private, so we have the ability to stay in control and remain independent,” Mr. Edwards said. “That's a huge deal for people who don't want to move a book [of clients] and then have to do it again.”

There are “absolutely no” plans to sell out, Mr. Edwards said.

A former A.G. Edwards branch manager, Mr. Edwards founded the firm in 2008, after Wachovia Securities LLC acquired the old Edwards in October 2007. It later became part of Wells Fargo Corp.

He is the son of former A.G. Edwards CEO Benjamin Edwards III and the great-great-grandson of Albert Gallatin Edwards, who founded the firm in 1887.

Benjamin F. Edwards opened its first office in August 2009 in Springfield, Mo.

djamieson@investmentnews.com Twitter: @dvjamieson

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