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Stifel Said to Cut Three Senior Bankers Following KBW Merger

Stifel Financial Corp. CEO Ronald Kruszewski
Stifel Financial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ronald Kruszewski said most reductions will involve employees who don't deal directly with clients. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Stifel Financial Corp. let go at least three senior bankers after the takeover of boutique investment bank KBW Inc., said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The departures include Michael Barry, a managing director who joined Stifel in 2009 from Merrill Lynch & Co. and most recently oversaw financial institutions mergers, said one person, who asked not to be named because the changes haven’t been made public. Barry is in talks to join Sterne Agee Group Inc., one person said.

Stifel is cutting staff after agreeing in November to purchase KBW in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $575 million to build its financial-services business. The St. Louis-based firm is offering retention packages to key KBW employees, and most reductions will involve employees who don’t deal directly with clients, Stifel Chief Executive Officer Ronald Kruszewski said when the deal was announced.

Sarah Anderson, a spokeswoman for Stifel, didn’t return calls seeking comment on the personnel changes. Sophia Pogoff, a spokeswoman for KBW, declined to comment.

Barry was among a handful of senior hires Stifel made in recent years to compete in financial services. Robert Hutchinson and Jean-Luc Servat, both managing directors, also left the company, said the people familiar with the matter.

Servat confirmed his departure from Stifel in an interview with Bloomberg. The banker, who’s still advising clients on pending transactions, is considering whether he’s going to stay in the industry, he said. Servat, based in San Francisco and responsible for West Coast banks, joined Stifel in 2011 from Royal Bank of Canada.

Hutchinson’s Move

Hutchinson will return to Sterne Agee, said one of the people, where he worked before joining Stifel last year. Hutchinson, responsible for northeastern banks, joined the firm’s Boston office in September, according to a press release announcing his hire. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Jim Townsend, a spokesman for Sterne Agee, didn’t respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment.

Stifel dropped 6.3 percent to $35.24 at the close in New York.

Stifel’s financial advisory group had more than a dozen senior bankers before it bought KBW, which will operate as a Stifel unit and continue to do business as Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Knight Capital Group Inc., the market maker that’s being acquired by Getco LLC, plans to sell its debt-brokerage unit to Stifel, people familiar with the matter said this week.

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