The head of Morgan Stanley's operations in Maine has jumped to up-and-coming Baird in order to beef up that firm's expansion in that state.
This is part of Baird's ongoing strategy of wooing disgruntled talent from the Smith Barney side of the troubled Morgan Stanley Smith Barney conglomerate.
Mark Stevanovic oversaw a sprawing 50-advisor force throughout metropolitan Maine, running a net $4 billion in client assets.
Like several other recent converts to Baird, Stevanovic came to Morgan from Citi, transferring to that firm from Merrill Lynch back in 2000.
Maine has become hotly contested territory between wirehouses and independent firms in the last year.
The goal here is not so much to capture a lot of mass affluent clients -- the thinly populated state has only 375 households earning over $1 million a year -- but to be on the scene when ultra-high-net-worth investors on vacation need help or decide to retire.
The Morgan Stanley structure in the state demonstrates the demographics nicely. If Stevanovic was supervising 50 advisors managing $4 billion, that's $80 million per advisor.
That, in turn, is not terrible, but it's still a relatively small asset base for such a big sales force, especially in wirehouse terms.
Like many other things in Maine, this is more of a fishing expedition than a business that aims to pay out immediately. But if it does -- for Baird or any firm -- the rewards can be pretty sweet.