ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwired - May 19, 2014) - St. Louis-based brokerage Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. opened a new office in Pensacola, Fla. and hired four financial services professionals, company officials announced today. In addition to Pensacola, the firm now has Florida locations in Panama City, Destin and Melbourne, and a total of 44 offices in 22 states.

Joining the new Pensacola office of Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. are the following financial services veterans representing approximately 100 years of industry experience:

Kent Lipham, Branch Manager and Senior Vice President - Investments: Lipham started his financial services career in 1996 and offers clients comprehensive investment advice on planning matters ranging from the basic to the complex.

Thomas M. Carter, Vice President - Investments: Carter began his brokerage career in 1993 after serving 20 years in the Navy as a helicopter pilot.

Leon B. Hirsh, CFP®, Vice President - Investments: Hirsh earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 1989 and brings with him more than 30 years of investment experience. While versed in all aspects of investment services, Hirsh focuses on fixed income investing with an emphasis in retirement and estate planning.

Helping the advisors with their client service responsibilities is Cheryl Sikes, who joins the office as a senior financial associate and brings with her nearly 30 years of industry experience.

All are transferring from Wells Fargo Advisors.

"These advisors recognize the value our business model and scope of services bring to the client-service equation," said Ward Petty, senior vice president and Southeast Region manager, for the St. Louis-based financial firm. "When you add the subject matter expertise we have in house, and our unwavering focus on client service, we can compete with any firm on the Street. Most importantly, our approach resonates with investors around the country -- particularly in Florida."

In related news, the firm also announced it added James Stein as an associate vice president -- investments to its Canton, Ohio office. Stein brings 30 years of experience in financial services and transferred from Wells Fargo Advisors.

"We're always looking to add to our existing offices quality advisors who appreciate our client-first approach," said Marty Altenberger, senior vice president and Central Region manager. "Jim is a talented advisor with three decades of experience and we're pleased to have him on board."

About Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.
With a tagline of "Investments for Generations" and a company logo anchored by the Edwards crest, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. The firm was founded in 2008 by Benjamin F. (Tad) Edwards IV and currently has 44 branches in 22 states.

A subsidiary of Benjamin Edwards, Inc., Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. is a full-service brokerage and a Registered Investment Adviser, which offers a wide array of financial products, advisory and investment banking services to its clients and financial advisors. For more information about Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., please visit the firm's corporate website,, for advisors, or follow the company on

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For more information, contact:
Margaret Welch