Rival's raid shuts BT Alex. Brown branch

Annapolis office loses 19 to brokerage of Tucker Anthony


May 26, 1999|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Nineteen BT Alex. Brown Inc. employees in the firm's Annapolis office, including 10 brokers, have bolted to competitor Tucker Anthony Inc., which opened its doors in the state capital a month ago.

Kevin M. Nolan, the former branch manager of Alex. Brown's Annapolis office, left to join Tucker Anthony in April. The other 18 have followed at various times this month.

As a result, Alex. Brown closed the high-producing office May 21, company officials confirmed yesterday.

The former Alex. Brown employees "are here, we are fully operational, everyone is on board," Nolan said. "Client accounts are transferring in daily."

Nolan said that the 10 brokers have brought about $1 billion in assets to Tucker Anthony, which is based in Boston and has more than 40 offices from Portland, Maine, to Chicago. "We will be hiring additional investment professionals and support staff," Nolan said. "We will be growing."

A spokesman for Bankers Trust Corp., Alex. Brown's parent, said it was continuing business in the Annapolis area despite the closing of the office Friday. "We continue to be active in that market," he said. He declined to comment further.

The defections are the latest in a series to hit Alex. Brown, which has lost seven top executives as well as brokers, traders and support staff since the September 1997 merger with Bankers Trust.

In March, Bruce H. Brandaleone, head of Alex. Brown's equity sales and trading division, resigned. Others who have left include A. B. "Buzzy" Krongard, the former chairman and chief executive; David L. Hopkins Jr., head of asset management; W. Gar Richlin, head of investment banking; Donald R. Heacock, co-head of the private client division; Robert F. Price, head of the legal department, and Beverly L. Wright, chief financial officer.

Two of the former Alex. Brown brokers who joined Tucker Anthony will work in the firm's new Easton office, which opened yesterday, Nolan said.

The Easton office is being headed by Phil Russell, who started Alex. Brown's Atlanta office in 1982. He will work with Ken Sappington, who has worked in Easton with Alex. Brown since 1962.

"The Maryland Shore, both in Annapolis and Easton, is important for us in our expansion on the East Cost, since they are strong communities with high concentrations of wealth," said Robert H. Yevich, president of Tucker Anthony.

Alex. Brown employs about 1,300 people in the Baltimore area. In November, Bankers Trust agreed to be sold to Deutsche Bank AG in a $10.2 billion transaction, creating the largest financial institution in the world. The deal is expected to close next month.

Pub Date: 5/26/99

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