Regional Wealth Managers Coming Back Strong

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The wealth management business is looking pretty good for regional firms, balancing losses many have suffered in real estate portfolio or a falloff in other areas in the wake of the recession.

Firms like Wintrust Financial and PrivateBancorp - both based in the Chicago area - posted double-digit increases in earnings during the first quarter, in part because of growing wealth management activities, says InvestmentNews.

Do they need more financial advisors? You'd think so. But The Wall Street Journal reports a flurry of acquisitions among regionals has potential FAs nervous.

Armies of brokers, worried about the effects of mergers on them, are no longer easy targets for regional firms, FBR analyst Steve Stelmach said. But as Wall Street brokerages continue to raise their production thresholds, brokers who fall short may look to regional broker-dealers.

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