Thursday, May 2, 2013

Edward Jones plots expansion in Charlotte

Investment firm Edward Jones plans to more than double its number of financial advising offices in Charlotte, part of the St. Louis-based company's national recruitment push.

The company now has 38 branch offices in the city, each of which employs a financial adviser and an administrator. Edward Jones aims to grow to 87 branch offices in Charlotte, which would have 174 employees.

Nationwide, the company is about a year into a push to boost its financial adviser numbers from about 12,500 to 20,000.

"We see that there’s a huge need out there for what we do," said Tim Portelance, Edward Jones regional  for Charlotte.

He said the company is not targeting any areas of the city in particular, but said that a number of areas across Charlotte could support an Edward Jones. New hires generally get significant leeway in determining where new offices are set up.

Edward Jones is putting an emphasis on recruiting military veterans who have recently left the service. The company offers training and compensation packages to encourage them to join.

The financial advising industry is growing rapidly as Baby Boomers reach retirement age. Over the next decade, employment is expected to increase by 32 percent, much faster than the average across all professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Milwaukee-based wealth management and capital markets firm Baird has also eyed Charlotte for an expansion. It added two new advisers in February and told the Observer it plans to nearly double its presence in the city over the next few years, from 13 to 25 advisers.