Brokers leave Wells Fargo for Benjamin F. Edwards

Brokers leave Wells Fargo for Benjamin F. Edwards

July 26th, 2011 by Staff Report in Business Around the Region

Ward Petty

Two decades after he helped launch the local office of A.G. Edwards and Co., Joseph Edward "Ward" Petty and other brokers have left the successor company, Wells Fargo Advisors, to start a brokerage office in North Chattanooga.

Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., a St. Louis-based brokerage firm founded three years ago by some of the heirs and former employees of A.G. Edwards, opened an office Monday on Frazier Avenue with nine financial advisers.

The Chattanooga office is the 17th nationally and the first in Tennessee for Benjamin F. Edwards.

Petty, who was recognized by Barron's as one of the top 1,000 financial consultants in the country in 2009 and 2010, said Benjamin Edwards' "dedication to providing premiere service and goals-based investment advice combined with its robust selection of investment products and services makes it an ideal fit for our clients."

The former Wachovia Corp. bought the A.G. Edwards brokerage firm in 2007, and Wachovia later was merged into Wells Fargo after the 2008 financial crisis.

Other brokers joining the firm from Wells Faro Advisors include:

  • Aon D. Miller, a certified financial planner who worked at A.G. Edwards since 1998.

  • Joe Donnovin Jr., who began his career in financial services at Alex Brown & Sons in 1980 after serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and the 6th Special Forces Group. He joined A.G. Edwards in 1993.

  • Joe Pollak, a 23-year veteran of the financial services industry, who worked for the past 13 years at A.G. Edwards (now Wells Fargo Advisors).

  • Joseph H. Petty, the father of branch manager Ward Petty, who formerly was managing partner and president of Petty & Landis LLC, from 1964 through 1996 before joining A.G. Edwards.

"This is a highly-talented team of financial professionals who have decades of experience and -- most importantly -- value our client-first approach," Benjamin F. "Tad" Edwards IV, chairman, CEO, and president of Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., said in a statement.

R. John Grzesiak, a financial adviser for Wells Fargo Advisors, has replaced Petty as branch manager for the local Wells Fargo office.