Baird has pulled advisors managing $340 million away from the wirehouses in the Dallas Fort Worth area, proving that its strategy of aggressively recruiting talent from Morgan Stanley in particular is still working.
The Wisconsin-based firm has been expanding across the country, targeting disgruntled reps from the old Smith Barney side of Morgan Stanley.
Former Smith Barney affiliates have been trickling out of Morgan Stanley for months, with many going to Baird.
However, the defection of Neil Grant and Luke Halliday indicates that even a pedigree from the Morgan side of the "family" isn't enough to keep every advisor happy.
Grant, the senior team member, had been with Morgan Stanley -- not Smith Barney -- for a decade before the two firms merged in 2009. He has no Smith Barney track record and no personal reason to feel that advisors from that firm are being treated differently.
Halliday has no real dog in that fight either, since he came from Ameritrade.
Formerly Morgan Stanley -- as opposed to ex-Smith Barney -- was largely immune to the wirehouse shuffle. They added advisors from other wirehouses, but their losses were all on the Smith Barney side.
This might be an isolated case or the start of a trend.
Meanwhile, Baird is also eager to hire advisors from other firms, recently grabbing George Gamez and Jim Hazel from Wells Fargo to staff its Fort Worth office.
What's the upshot here? I've been suggesting that advisors who came from Smith Barney are more likely to go independent next year than just about anyone else.
They seem the unhappiest and the most likely to accept offers from elsewhere. Advisors looking for talent might take a page from Baird's book and make some calls.