Ferris realigns, Akers moved up to CEO Geidel decides to devote time to financial operations

November 05, 1998|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. said yesterday that it has realigned top management and named Louis J. Akers chief executive officer.

Akers, who has been with the firm since 1989, succeeds Paul J. "Skip" Geidel, who was chief executive for the past 1 1/2 years and has decided to devote full time to being chief financial officer.

"This realignment places the management team in the best position to lead Ferris, Baker Watts into the next century," said George M. Ferris Jr., chairman of the Washington-based brokerage and investment banking firm, which has its trading and research operations in Baltimore.

Akers said the restructuring was Geidel's idea.

"More and more, Skip felt what he truly enjoyed about the business was what he did as CFO," Akers said. "In many ways, the CEO is the No. 1 salesman of the firm. That isn't really Skip's bag."

Akers was director of retail sales before being named CEO. Before joining the firm, he was an assistant manager at the Baltimore office of Thomson McKinnon Securities.

Robert Brown, the market strategist at Ferris, Baker Watts, said Akers is a "key man" at the company and "deserves the job. He is well-liked by the sales force and regarded as an influential leader."

Akers said one of his goals is to build Ferris' research department, and expand the firm. Ferris, Baker Watts has 200 brokers and 26 offices in seven states and Washington, D.C.

"Our idea is to be the premier regional brokerage firm in the mid-Atlantic area," Akers said. "That is tough to do with Legg Mason next door."

Pub Date: 11/05/98

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